Barcelona Metropolitan Issue 251

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DECEMBER 2017 Nº 251









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20 REPORT: START OF SOMETHING BIG Natalie Donback gets beneath the skin of Barcelona’s startup ecosystem

25 NEW YEAR’S EVE Where to ring in 2018

26 BETWEEN THE LINES The story behind Keith Haring’s mural in the Raval



06 08 11 12 15 16 18 46

An interview with the reality TV star

48 MAKE SOME HEADSPACE End the year with a clear mind

New in town Streetlife Five things A place of my own History Best of Shopping Photo essay

WHAT’S ON 32 36 40 42

Music Art Misc Calendar

WORKING LIFE 53 Startup of the month 54 Upskilling 56 A day in the life

TRAVEL 58 Les Guilleries 62 Colònia Güell

FOOD & DRINK 64 Restaurant review 66 Quick bites 68 Recipe


METROPOLITAN CONTRIBUTORS Publisher The Noise Lab S.L. Founder Esther Jones Director Andrea Moreno Senior Editor Carol Moran Contributing Editor Rachel Huffman Art Director Aisling Quigley Sales Director Jalil Alui Client Care Manager Aminah Barnes Digital Analyst Richard Cardwell Office Manager Marina Piegari Editorial Assistants Garry Gallon, Lottie Hanwell, Natalia Quiros-Edmunds, Charlotte Stace Design Assistant Valeria Kalinova Contributors Misty Barker, Aminah Barnes, Paul Cannon, Natalie Donback, Sophie Heywood, Catherine Howley, Sam Mednick, Will Shank, Tara Stevens, Sam Zucker Illustrator Ben Rowdon Photographer Tash McCammon, Harry Escott Duc 6, 08002 Barcelona Tel. 93 451 4486 The views expressed in Barcelona Metropolitan are not necessarily those of the publisher. Reproduction, or use, of advertising or editorial content herein, without express permission, is prohibited. Depósito legal: B35159-96

NATALIE DONBACK Originally from Sweden, Natalie studied global development and politics at the University of Lund. She first came to Barcelona on an Erasmus exchange, and returned to study a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Barcelona, in collaboration with the Columbia School of Journalism. She frequently attends a feminist book club and finds tranquility on top of a standup paddleboard. She has developed a fascination for Barcelona’s startup scene, which she’s exploring further writing for Metropolitan.

WILL SHANK Will and his family moved from San Francisco, where he was head of conservation at SFMOMA, to Barcelona in 2006. Trained in Florence, at NYU and Harvard in art history and conservation, Will has restored paintings all over the world. He collaborated with the Keith Haring Foundation on the preservation of murals by Haring in Paris (Tower, 1987) and in Pisa (Tuttomondo, 1989). He was the curator of ‘A Hidden Picasso’ at the Guggenheim Bilbao, and he won the prestigious Rome Prize in 2005.

TASH MCCAMMON Tash studied photography and visual communications at the Centre for Creative Photography in Adelaide, Australia, whilst also completing a joint degree in philosophy and English literature at the University of Adelaide. She moved to Barcelona in 2016 to pursue a career in the visual arts, with a specific interest in portraiture. Since arriving here, Tash has exhibited work in a group show at Jiwar Creació i Societat and completed a short residency at the Centre d’Art i Natura.


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new in town FROZEN MAGIC nitroGenie. SombrererS 1.  NITROGENIE.ES Originating in Australia back in 2012, the first shop to sell ice cream made with liquid nitrogen recently landed in Barcelona. A technique popularised by culinary genius Ferran Adrià at elBulli, Nitrogenie was born out of a desire to extend the magic of liquid nitrogen ice cream to a wider audience, beyond the dining rooms of gourmet restaurants. The blending of the base mixture (egg, cream and flavour-specific ingredients) with liquid nitrogen ensures that the freezing process is too rapid for ice crystals to form, leaving a velvet-textured ice cream of incomparable creaminess. Each serving is made before the customer’s eyes, with many creative and unusual flavours, such as lemon meringue pie, salted caramelly popcorn, red velvet cream and Nutella cornucopia. Nitrogenie is also passionate about only using natural, local ingredients; they source many of their toppings from the artisanal bakery Pastificio Angela Bertoni in Sant Gervasi and sell locally roasted coffee from a Barcelona favourite, Nømad.

AÇAI ADDICTS AlmAlibre. GironA 118.  ALMALIBREACAIBAR.ES After two and a half years in Valencia, Almalibre has spread its wings and found a second home in the Eixample. Silk cushions, rainbow-dyed bunting and pastel-painted chairs lend a splash of colour to the backdrop of white walls and chunky wooden tables in this light and airy restaurant. The açai bowls are the house speciality, made with Brazilian açai berries bursting with antioxidants, essential omega fats and amino acids. The bowls use a frozen açai berry smoothie as the base ingredient and customers then choose their toppings, such as goji berries, honey, pumpkin, sunflower seeds or fresh fruit. If açai isn’t your thing, manager Belén Gugger explained that the menu also offers a range of fresh, homemade dishes using top-quality ingredients: “Although our menu is predominantly vegan and vegetarian, we aspire to cater to everyone, so there are some fish and meat options too.” Dishes include vegan burgers, made from chickpeas and quinoa or red rice and tempeh, watermelon gazpacho, beetroot hummus, and carrot and olive paté with organic nachos.


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THANK YOU FOR SMOKING rooftop SmokehouSe. pArlAment 19.  ROOFTOPSMOKEHOUSE.COM Buster Turner, 32, and Carla Rodamilans, 34, started Rooftop Smokehouse together four years ago when they began smoking their own meats and cheeses in an abandoned porcelain doll factory in the Eixample. “We used the old smokestack,” Turner explained, “and then we started organising pop-up dinners and events where we would sell the results.” Although they still organise frequent pop-up events, the duo have recently opened a permanent delicatessen where they sell homemade goods, as well as other produce. “We try to source locally and be sustainable,” said Turner, who is originally from London. “We get our pork from a butcher at Cal Rovira, who adheres to British standards on request, so the bacon tastes like English bacon. We source our bread from Pa Serra in Poble-sec. We import cheese from Neal’s Yard Dairy in the UK, because it’s difficult to find the same kind of mature cheddar here, but we smoke everything ourselves.” Turner admits that he’s currently going through a bit of a pickling frenzy, which the many jars of homemade horseradish sauce, sauerkraut and kimchi seem to confirm.

TRENDY TOTS konfetti kidS. bAixAdA de VilAdecolS 2.  KONFETTI-KIDS.COM With experience working in the fashion industry in Italy and Berlin, the founder of Konfetti Kids, Claudia Bonazzi, wanted to bring simple, well-designed children’s clothing to the Gothic Quarter. The shop’s collection is as bright and colourful as the Italian sweet it’s named after, showcasing a variety of tiny garments from specially selected European brands. The rows of children’s outfits feature Italian handmade clothing from La Bottega di Giorgia, and Gray Label organic apparel from Amsterdam. As well as a range of unique clothing brands, the shop also offers a selection of accessories and treats, from Collégien slippers and Jellycat soft toys from London, to Pastiglie Leone Italian confectionary. The space unites Claudia’s passion for quality products with her desire to make international brands more readily available.

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No 2

A small, pedestrianised street, Sèneca’s businesses share a dedication to the artistic and artisanal

Cuervo CobblerBlack Bird

Put simply, Teresa Folguera and her husband, Emili Guirao, like to make shoes. “Emili became interested initially and taught himself. As it is a dying craft, he had to hunt down old and out-of-print books on the subject in order to learn, and was lucky enough to find a mentor in a shoe shop in the Raval. I later learned the skill from a wonderful teacher from England,” said Folguera. The pair opened the shoemaking, repair and shine shop in 2006, choosing Sèneca for its relatively cheap rents, location near Gràcia, and the number of art galleries and other bespoke product stores on the street. Although at first a difficult business venture, Folguera said things have gotten easier. “At first we had to trawl eBay to find the rare tools and materials we needed, but now we’re able to easily order and import what we need from Japan.” It’s just as well, because the cuervos—the formal patent leather men’s shoes they specialise in—are a thing of handmade beauty.

No 8 No 9-11

Galeria Miquel Alzueta AOO

For a company that specialises in locally sourced wooden furniture, it’s no surprise that AOO’s showroom is timber trimmed. “Basically everything here is made from wood,” said Marc Morro, who established the company in 2013 with business partner Oriol Villar, in order to promote local production. “We like things made here; it’s what makes sense to us.” The duo make some of the furniture themselves, but also work with local craftspeople and manufacturers from Barcelona, Valencia, Lleida and Mallorca. Although AOO’s furniture designs incorporate other materials, wood is always the starting point for their pieces. “It’s for a few reasons,” said Morro. “Its smell, its warmth, its ease to work with. If people don’t like wood, we send them next door to OX, a vintage Scandinavian furniture company. We’re all good friends and often collaborate.”

Galeria Miquel Alzueta sits across the street from AOO and OX, but you might have a harder time finding it. Passing a large number ‘9’ emblazoned in neon light on the wall, a wide, dark tunnel leads into a courtyard, which conceals a small flight of stairs leading down into another, even longer and darker tunnel. But there is something different about this narrow passageway: the walls shimmer with a metallic sheen, and at the other end, light from the gallery entrance guides you. For such a claustrophobic entrance, the exhibition space is surprisingly light and open. “The building was an old factory, which had to be redesigned and rebuilt to make it what it is today,” explained Laura Rigal, a gallery employee. It finally opened in 2000, with the primary aim of promoting the 30 Spanish artists with whom the gallery works. A highlight is a collection by architect and designer Jean Prouvé, pieced together in the last decade, as well as a collection of furniture designed by European architects in the Fifties.


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No 18

Paral • lelo

It’s been exactly a year since Marco Giancaterino, 29, and three of his friends—all from San Remo, Italy—opened their ice cream shop on Carrer de Sèneca. More than a retailer, Paral·lelo is a working test kitchen, where they create flavours no one else is offering. “We’ve even had customers from Rome, New York, everywhere, suggest different flavours that we try out and sell,” said Giancaterino. A large cart by the door displays the intriguing results, from an avocado sorbet to vegan pistachio, saffron and black sesame gelato. “We make new flavours every week,” Giancaterino added. “My favourite right now is the Macondo, a dark chocolate and coffee sorbet.”

No 31

(3 =39 ;%28 83 0)%62 %2( ,%&0%6 74%2-7,# Spanish courses for adults in Poblenou

Plom Gallery

Martha Zimmermann opened Plom Gallery in 2013 with a specific aim. “There are art galleries everywhere, but very few cater specifically to children.” She proudly pointed out the mission statement stencilled on the wall, which describes her belief in the importance of cultivating an appreciation of art at a young age. “Almost everything we do here is in an effort to connect kids with art.” Artwork exhibited at the gallery can be enjoyed by all ages, but appeals to youngsters first and foremost, and toys and artwork are also on sale. Although small, Zimmermann appreciates the space and its location. “Sèneca has many of the things I love about Gràcia, where I’ve lived my whole life. It attracts independent businesses that promote the vision of the person who makes the product.”

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DELE preparation Small groups

General courses Intensive courses

Specialized courses (Art, History Cinema...)

One-to-One lessons Business Spanish

Llull 187, 08005 T. (+34) 668 80 46 89

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Prepare for the Christmas season with some traditional festive activities





Many Catalan homes have a pessebre (nativity) that is lovingly curated and added to each year, and the traditional scene is also depicted in various locations around town. From the end of November until the beginning of January, Plaça Sant Jaume offers its own modern twist on it, while the Associació de Pessebristes de Barcelona presents its diorama at the Artesania de Catalunya (Banys Nous 11). If you fancy making one yourself, the Santa Llúcia market is well-stocked with all the materials and decorations necessary, including the all-important caganer—a defecating figurine that adorns all Catalan nativity scenes.

Beating a decorated log until it defecates gifts may sound strange, but the gift-bearing Christmas log—el Tió de Nadal—is a common figure in Catalan folklore. The tió is given a little bit to ‘eat’ every night in the days leading up to Christmas Eve. If well looked after, the log will deliver sweets, nuts and turrones (nougat) when beaten with a stick while singing a traditional song that begins with the imperative, ‘Caga tió!’ (‘Shit log!’). You can buy your tió at most Christmas markets, but if you’d like to make your own, the Local Social Raimón Casellas (José Millán González 17) is offering a free workshop on December 15th.




Prepare for the festive feasts by sharpening your kitchen skills. On December 23rd, the Centre Cívic Vil[la Florida (Muntaner 544) will hold a familyfriendly workshop on Christmas aperitifs and starters. For the sweeter side of things, the Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I is hosting a Christmas cookie workshop on December 16th, when their pastry sous chef Sebastian will reveal the secrets of the perfect gingerbread biscuit (Diagonal 661667, Once you’ve got your menu covered, head to the Centre Municipal de Cultura Popular de Sant Andreu (Arquímedes 30) to create the perfect festive tabletop (



On January 5th at 6pm, the Three Kings arrive in Barcelona by boat. They dock at Port Vell and make their way across the city in a vivid parade of music, dancing, bright costumes and uniquely decorated floats. Enjoy the spectacle from the sidelines and prepare to catch the sweets that are thrown into the crowd—and next year why not get involved and form part of the parade yourself? Applicants must sign up in November. In preparation for the kings’ arrival, head to their toy factory and warehouse at the Fàbrica de Creació Fabra i Coats (Sant Adrià 20) from December 28th to 30th.


While the Christmas tree is still a relatively new tradition in Spain, each year it is becoming more popular. The Sagrada Família and Santa Llúcia Christmas markets are bursting with evergreen conifers, and most garden centres outside the city also stock them. If you don’t fancy a floor full of pine needles, visit Plantasymas in Sarrià for an artificial tree as good as the real thing. In the city centre, Christmas lights bring some cheer to the main thoroughfares, as well as building facades on Passeig de Gràcia and Portal de l’Àngel. And for some extra twinkle, the Biblioteca Les Corts-Miquel Llongueras (Travessera de les Corts 58) is holding a Christmas lantern workshop for children on December 21st.


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fter a six-month student exchange in the city 13 years ago, Elise Bossuyt made Barcelona her permanent home a year and a half later, when she returned to pursue a master’s degree. Having lived in eight different apartments across the city, she jumped at the opportunity to take over the lease of a friend’s beloved home just off Passeig de Sant Joan in December 2014. She met her partner, wooden furniture craftsman Javier Picos da Silva, in February 2016, and he moved in with her six months ago. Elise fell in love with the original features of the apartment: “It has a lot of light, high ceilings and a really beautiful tiled floor.” A lot of inspiration for the interior decor came from the space itself, and she decided on a colour scheme to match the floor. It urged her to consider a different palette. “I don’t usually wear much colour,” said Elise, “so it was nice to be able to experiment with that.” And she hasn’t held back. Splashes of colour—fluorescent pink and purple lights angled from different corners of the living area, electric blue in the TV unit and coffee table legs, and vibrant greens from various plants—provide a sense of modernity and fun to the apartment’s traditional structure, reflecting the couple’s unique blend of styles. Original, quirky artwork from independent artists sit alongside tiny plant pots handmade by friends. “We try to live in peace here,” joked Javi, talking about compromise in style. “A few months ago, Elise asked me if I liked the look of the apartment and I said honestly, it’s not really me, but I definitely saw the potential for an interesting fusion.” Favouring a rustic, simple edge with a firm focus on sustainability, Javier has always had a passion for handcrafted objects and has made many of the apartment’s pieces of furniture. “Since Javi moved in, there’s definitely been an increase in natural elements. The greenery is all him, mainly because he knows how to take care of plants and I don’t!” laughed Elise. Javi’s handmade creations appear all over the apartment, from Elise’s favourite piece—a shoe rack

made from reclaimed wooden beams—to her bespoke desk, the bed (complete with built-in storage), and coasters made from Spanish floor tiles. After developing a love for carpentry in his native Uruguay, Javi followed his grandfather’s ancestry to Spain in 2004, and set up his business, Tacua Design, a few years ago. “I try to use reclaimed materials wherever possible. When they renovated the roof of the church opposite the apartment, I reused the beams to make another shoe rack similar to the one we have.” Most of the materials that he uses have come from the renovation of nearby buildings, either sourced straight off the street or from rubbish bins. “It’s sustainable, and you also keep the authentic elements of the old buildings alive by giving them a new lease of life.”

“I try to use reclaimed materials wherever possible...It’s sustainable, and also keeps old buildings alive” A cosy corner next to the apartment’s balcony doors, complete with armchair and reading lamp, is the couple’s favourite spot. “At the moment, the chair’s from Ikea,” laughed Javi. It’s clear that there’s still plenty left for the two to put their stamp on, including their dining room and occasional workshop, where Elise makes her own jewellery. The space doesn’t have any natural light, so it doesn’t get


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Photos by Tash McCammon

If you’ve made yourself an interesting home from home, please send an email to

much use. “A friend suggested covering one of the walls in mirrors to make it brighter, but we haven’t quite managed to get around to that yet.” The focus on lighting doesn’t stop there; from the soft touches of pink and purple light, strategically placed dim lamps and a reliance on natural sunlight, the couple know how to take advantage of it to create a serene and relaxed atmosphere. Perched above the frantic city life below, their favourite time to be at home is in the early hours of the day: “The light in the front of the apartment is so beautiful first thing in the morning, and at the weekend it’s surprisingly calm, despite being so close to the centre.” This naturally makes their balcony another treasured spot. “We love beginning the day there, preferably with a cup of mate.” Handmade creations by Javier appear all over the apartment

share the cheer

HELP ESPERANÇA HELP THE HOMELESS As temperatures plummet and the streets fill with festive


fun, Christmas can be one of the hardest times for those

Gloves, scarves, hats Underwear Small toiletries, e.g. toothbrush, small toothpaste,

sleeping rough. This year, spread some Christmas spirit by participating in Esperança’s Christmas bag initiative. With the hope of making the colder months more bearable, Esperança will be distributing Christmas present bags filled with small gifts and goodies to homeless people across the city.

ťo fill these bags, we need your help!

shower gel etc

Chocolate Small gifts, e.g. pack of cards, notebook, small torch Nothing too big please—the bags need to be light enough to carry.

Once complete, drop your bags at the Barcelona Metropolitan office (Duc 6) to be picked up and delivered by the Esperança elves.

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By Catherine Howley



ne of the most photographed features of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter isn’t even 100 years old. The elaborate footbridge that spans Carrer del Bisbe, connecting the Palau de la Generalitat with the Casa dels Canonges, was only constructed in 1928. Neo-Gothic in style, the bridge is adorned with sculptures steeped in symbolism, typical of the Modernista architectural trend, and was designed by architect and disciple of Antoni Gaudí, Joan Rubió i Bellver. In 1927, Rubió i Bellver, who worked for Barcelona City Council, was given the huge task of remodelling the Gothic Quarter in time for the 1929 International Exposition. His proposed project set out to intensify the old city’s Gothic style. The plan envisioned the destruction of all buildings surrounding the cathedral that were not Gothic in style, replacing them with Neo-Gothic structures and ornamentation, which would create more uniformity, albeit fake, within the city’s oldest neighbourhood. The proposal, however, was seen to be wildly ambitious and it was harshly criticised by prominent architectural circles in the city. Although Rubió i Bellver defended his plans, they were never accepted and instead reduced to the mere realisation of this footbridge over Carrer del Bisbe. It is from this rejection that theories have emerged regarding quite an unusual feature included on the footbridge. If you look closely as you pass underneath the bridge, you will spot a somewhat out-of-place skull, pierced by a dagger. One of the more morbid theories suggests that the skull could be a symbol of death to his detractors, for denying Rubió i Bellver the opportunity to realise his architectural proposal. Another theory suggests that it could be a symbol that his project for the Gothic Quarter had been, figuratively, killed. Either way, the skull and its meaning remains an enigma today, and it has given way to various urban legends. Some say that if the dagger is removed from the skull, the city of Barcelona will tremble to such a degree that it would be reduced to rubble. Others claim that if you walk backwards underneath the bridge while fixating your gaze on the macabre feature, it will bring you good fortune.


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PetritXol 2. GranjadulCinea.Com Originally opened in 1939 as a bodega, Juan Mach and Elvira Farràs from Seville converted the space into a chocolatier in 1941 and are still involved with the business today. The establishment has kept its old-fashioned style with original woodwork and decorative floor tiles, and old photographs of the family and famous customers hang around the shop. Over the years, this local haunt has earned itself a reputation as one of the best chocolatiers in the city. “Our hot chocolate is unique as it is made with a mixture of African and Spanish cocoa, hot water and a drop of milk to make it less bitter,” explained waiter Cristian Palacios. “It is served with fluffy whipped cream and a choice of melindros (lady fingers), churros or Mallorcan ensaïmada.” Not only a chocolate oasis, this cafe also produces a variety of traditional desserts, such as crema catalana, rice pudding and warm apple pie.


Colom 2. ARTiSA specialises in all things sweet. Beautifully decorated with hanging light bulbs in glass jars, mirrors and traditional windows and woodwork, this gourmet cafe is burrowed away in a corner of Plaça Reial. The hot chocolate is rich and thick and can be accompanied with churros or melindros. If a hot chocolate isn’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, there are freshly made cakes, such as lemon pie, cheesecake or warm chocolate coulant, as well as crêpes, pastries and artisan ice cream that might do the trick.

Granja M. Viader XuClà 4. Granjaviader.Cat

The xocolata calenta (hot chocolate) at this traditional Catalan coffee shop in the Raval is legendary. Opened by the Viader family in 1850, the recipe for this hot drink has been passed down through five generations. “Our hot chocolate is made using only water and cocoa to give it a thick texture and dark chocolate taste. We serve it with homemade whipped cream and Catalan melindros,” said Jaume Espuny, the great-great-grandson of the founder, Marc Viader. Blackand-white family photographs and pictures of the original family farm in the village of Cardedeu line the walls, as well as famous advertising campaigns of Cacaolat, the popular chocolate milk invented by the Viader family.


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PG. de GràCia 41. Faborit.Com Housed within Casa Amatller, one of Passeig de Gràcia’s most spectacular buildings, the interior of this cafe offers a contemporary contrast to its modernista exterior. “The building was designed by architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch in 1898 for the chocolatier Antoni Amatller,” explained Elisabet Aisa, from the Casa Amatller museum. Faborit, in keeping with tradition, specialises in chocolate-based products and drinks. The homemade hot chocolate comes with a range of sweet treats, including cakes, cookies, and traditional Catalan melindros and carquinyolis (Catalan biscotti). If you fancy braving the outdoors, there is a terrace at the back of the building, perfect for enjoying a few moments of peace along one of the city’s busiest streets.


Carme 3. ChokbarCelona.Com Specialising in all things chocolate, from cookies and cakes to handcrafted truffles and chocolate-drizzled potato chips, Chök is paradise for anyone in need of a sugar fix. “This building was originally built as a chocolate factory in 1850, and has always been used by chocolate-related businesses,” explained sales assistant Gianluca Fava. “We opened here four and a half years ago and have kept many of the original modernista features, such as the stained glass windows and woodwork,” he added. The creamy hot chocolate is freshly made each day and pairs perfectly with the kitchen’s signature ‘chök’, a gourmet doughnut that comes in more than 40 different flavours, including crème brûlée, nutella, cheesecake and apple strudel.


Palla 8. CaelumbarCelona.Com Situated at a fork in the road in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, close to Plaça del Pi, this charming cafe serves up a multitude of confections. “Many of our products, including the pastries, cakes and marzipans, are made by monks and nuns in monasteries across Spain,” explained waiter Esteban Carajelo. “Following the traditional Catalan recipe, our hot chocolate is made with water and cocoa,” he added. Built above 14th-century Jewish baths, the stone walls of this little haunt are steeped in history and offer a quiet refuge where you can warm up on a winter’s day.


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BRACELET €59 BIMBA Y LOLA Muntaner 356


BAG €76 NANSA Providència 31



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ear the word ‘startup’ and your mind probably conjures up images of jeans-clad, bearded computer engineers in a messy coworking space or garage; or maybe you see a powerful tech mogul like Steve Jobs. No matter which image your mind lands on, one thing’s clear: we live in the golden era of startups. Individuals like Elon Musk enjoy the kind of celebrity status previously reserved for rock stars, and your introverted neighbour might have an idea making him the next Forbes ‘30 under 30’ billionaire. More than anything, it has transformed the way we see entrepreneurship as a viable means of making a living. It’s easy to see the appeal of Barcelona to both talented Europeans working in the tech industry and entrepreneurs looking for the perfect breeding ground for a new business: Barcelona’s startup ecosystem is buzzing. A recent report by Startup Genome, a research-focused non-profit organisation working to increase the success rate of startups, reveals that the city is home to more than 1,000 startups—three times more than the average number hosted by other similarly mature ecosystems—and estimates the sector's value at €5.5 billion. And with the city hosting world-class events like the Mobile World Congress (MWC), and success stories such as the recent acquisition of gaming company Social Point and online-fashion outlet Privalia for $270 million and $560 million respectively, optimism seems well-grounded. Jordi Romero, co-founder of venture builder Itnig and CEO of HR software company Factorial, has witnessed the industry’s transformation from its early days. Together with a group of computer engineers, he founded Itnig in 2011. After successfully launching Itnig's first startup, Camaloon—a promotional products supplier that now employs over 120 individuals—Romero joined the leadership team at another startup, Redbooth, a project management platform. “When I started working at Redbooth, I knew about computers but I had no idea about investments or startup business models.” Back then, not many investors understood software as a service (SaaS), so they had a hard time pitching

to Spanish investors—an issue which eventually led Redbooth to move to San Francisco. Romero went with them. “It wasn’t as easy as just moving the headquarters and then immediately getting funded millions of dollars, but it was a great experience.” Looking at the open-plan office occupied by Itnig and its six startups— located in the booming 22@ district—it seems difficult to imagine any setbacks. “Silicon Valley was basically 15 years ahead of us here, and when I came back to Barcelona I just thought ‘wow, we still have so much to do before we get to their level’.” Juan Alvarez De Lara, the CEO of Seed&Click, a network that connects entrepreneurs with investors, founded his company in 2013 in order to tackle precisely some of these issues. “I saw that there was an issue with the financing of projects on one hand, and a pool of talent eager to make things happen on the other.” So what has changed since those early days?

Startup hub In the past 10 years, Barcelona has managed to place itself at the top of the European league of startup communities. According to Catalonia Trade & Investment—the Catalan government’s agency for foreign investment and business competitiveness—the city's startup ecosystem employs around 11,700 people and is ranked fifth in Europe behind London, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam. Alvarez De Lara believes the public administration’s early understanding of its role and the need to catalyse the ecosystem has been crucial: “If you look at Barcelona Activa, it’s one of the most important incubators in Spain, both at a public and private level.” Lorenzo Di Pietro, the Executive Director of Entrepreneurship, Enterprise and Innovation at Barcelona Activa, explained that a lot has changed in the 30 years since Barcelona Activa was first founded: “The success we see now is the result of efforts that started many years ago, when the city’s infrastructure was improved significantly through the creation of an international airport, a port that’s increasingly climbing international rankings, and business schools on the world’s top 10 list.” These factors have


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5th in Europe Employs

11,700 people

1,100 startups Estimated value of

€5.5 billion allowed Barcelona to gain a name on the international stage and open itself up to the rest of the world. The projection of the city’s image through events such as the MWC has also been fundamental: “It’s not enough to do things well at home if the rest of the world doesn’t know about it,” said Di Pietro. Another aspect that has changed considerably is the city’s funding landscape. A strong startup ecosystem needs a healthy economic foundation in order to feed its startups with talent, money and experienced founders. According to Barcelona’s city council, there are now around 30 private accelerators and annual streams of seed capital of over €400 million. Alvarez De Lara has seen it up close: “There’s been an evolution of funding mechanisms in the past years, with much more funding available.” But it’s not just the money that has increased; so have the number of startups fighting for it, creating an environment of healthy competition that could actually contribute to better startups and larger exits. Ignacio Fonts, CEO and General Partner of the VC fund Inveready First Capital, believes Barcelona’s competitive advantage largely lies with the people that call it, or choose to make it, their home. “The internationalisation of the city has created a diverse environment, and diversity is crucial in business. Merging people from different backgrounds, talents and experiences is key if you want to become global.” One frequently mentioned reason behind Barcelona’s ability to attract and retain top talent is its attractive lifestyle and weather. The wages might be lower than in other European startup hubs, but Alvarez De Lara believes that the city’s dynamic lifestyle and its geographical location make up for it: “Maybe you sacrifice a higher salary but you win in quality of life and happiness. You get a higher emotional salary.” But there’s another side to the coin. According to Lorenzo Di Pietro, low wages are only a competitive advantage in the short run. In the long term, they can make companies lose talent just as quickly as they acquired it. He believes that companies with a strategic, long-term plan come to the city because of other advantages.

28.4% of Spanish startups based in Barcelona

Sectors Other (41%) Social (9%) Tourism (9%)

E-commerce (21%) Mobile (10%) Enterprise (10%)

STARTUP GLOSSARY STARTUP | A startup is a company in the early stages of operation, initially often backed by its entrepreneurial founders as they develop a product or service. Most startups are not sustainable in the long run without external funding. VENTURE CAPITAL(IST) | A venture capitalist is an investor who provides a startup with capital because they can earn large returns on their investments if it becomes successful. SEED CAPITAL | The initial capital used when starting a business, which often comes from founders’ personal savings or from an outside investor who obtains an equity stake in exchange for investment. It’s often used to kick-start business operations and attract VCs. EXIT | An exit happens when either a founder or a VC sells their stake in a company. This normally happens through an IPO or a buyout from another company, and can generate large profits for its founders or investors. IPO | An Initial Public Offering is when shares of a private company are offered to the public for the first time. UNICORN | Any startup that reaches an estimated valuation of more than $1 billion.


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Photo by Masumi Mutsuda

Juan Alvarez De Lara, the CEO of Seed&Click

ChallengeS ahead

Jordi Romero, Factorial

Photo by Harry Escott

Right now, Barcelona and Catalunya are at a ‘clear inflection point’, according to Startup Genome. The city’s startup ecosystem may be maturing, but continued growth and success cannot be presumed; public and private stakeholders must act in order to make the shift ‘from a local or regional-focus to a going-global orientation’. As Dane Stangler, Head of Policy at Startup Genome, commented over Skype from San Francisco, “It’s like that old saying, ‘what got you here won’t get you there’. Now that Barcelona has experienced the growth and momentum that it has, it requires a different set of actions and priorities to keep that growth going.” Jordi Romero agrees that more growth and success stories are crucial. “In Silicon Valley, there are so many massive exits that people really believe in startups. In Europe, we’ve just had a few of those massive unicorns, like Spotify. We need more really successful startups in Europe, and they don't need to be in Barcelona—we’ve all got a shared reputation.” He reports that lately, people from Berlin, Paris, London and Amsterdam come to Barcelona and ping entrepreneurs to meet for a coffee. “I think we live in a regional bubble, but we're now five bubbles that are starting to become connected. We're slowly embracing the idea that we should all be the same ecosystem, because it will give us a much broader reach.” Startup Genome identified connectedness as one of Barcelona’s three main challenges: ‘Despite a good level of global connectedness, Catalan startups do not sell to global markets at a high rate’. Research has shown that this constrains growth, as startups that sell globally grow twice as fast as those only selling domestically. Barcelona needs to close this gap by helping local startups sell internationally, by retaining foreign students from local universities, and by globalising organisations that support entrepreneurs. Romero agrees that it’s difficult to expand to new markets and that startups struggle to go beyond the local market. “If you kill it in Barcelona, then what’s next? Spain? It’s a small and risk-averse ecosystem. From here you go to France and Germany, but it's much harder to spread organically and requires a strong strategy and a lot of investments.” The startup world is one in which very few succeed. There are no official statistics, but Alvarez De Lara estimates that the general success rate of startups is about 10 percent. Ignacio Fonts, too, cited a low success rate: “Probably less than five percent of startups will survive five years, and probably less in 10 years.” Success refers to the startups that manage to create the strong return on investment that their investors hope for. For the ones that neither sink nor swim, there’s always the risk of stagnation, or what Alvarez de Lara calls the "zombie phase”, which includes startups that are

Miquel Marti, Tech City



There are very few women in the startup game. Crunchbase’s global study of female founders, surveying over 42,000 global companies, found that the percentage of women-founded, venture-backed companies has stagnated at around 17 percent since 2012. “Women are far from wellrepresented in Barcelona’s startups. It’s a tough issue that’s often connected to the fact that there is a lack of women in some fields,” said Laura Urquizo, CEO of Red Points, a technology company focused on combating piracy and brand abuse online. She stressed the importance of promoting inclusive values and offering incentives to counteract this reality: “It’s something we do at Red Points, and I can guarantee that the benefits to our business are evident— diversity is a clear competitive advantage.”


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Barcelona hosts several renowned technology events that attract worldwide talent, creating an inspirational climate for startups

alive and generate income, but don’t grow enough to sufficiently multiply their investor’s money. Despite increases in funding in recent years, access to sufficient resources still poses a challenge; the average early-stage funding per startup is $223,000, just below the global median, according to Startup Genome’s report, which also recommends that ‘the region should focus on creating new funding programmes and incentives to attract more international investors and increase early-stage capital’. Miquel Marti, the CEO of Barcelona Tech City, the nonprofit initiative behind Pier01—a 1,100-square-metre space in Port Vell hosting more than 100 startups—thinks that “Barcelona should work on improving the legal, tax and financial frameworks for startups and investors. We need to make it really easy to attract investors”. Currently, legislation focuses on large companies and it is difficult to adapt it for small businesses. This means that there are only a few large investment funds in the city and that startups are often forced to go abroad to search for funding. Then there’s the looming question of Catalan independence, which has already started to affect Barcelona’s business community. “Money is very fleeting, and whenever it’s faced with uncertainty or a lack of legal framework, it will go and look for stability,” said Alvarez De Lara. Hundreds of companies have moved their headquarters outside Catalunya, in search of a stable legal framework, at least until the political situation is more clear. “If the situation becomes chronic and there’s no sign of stability in the near future, companies might choose to set up elsewhere, and the same goes for investors.” The future is uncertain, but he hopes the issue won’t slow down the ecosystem’s momentum.

Where do We go from here? Barcelona’s appeal doesn’t lie in lax corporate and tax regulations, and rather than looking to become the next Silicon Valley or Berlin, perhaps the city should strive to capitalise on what makes it unique. “There’s an important value in the singularity of Barcelona, and one of the challenges we’re facing is to keep our own, unique model and identity,” said Lorenzo di Pietro. “It can be dangerous for the ecosystem to try and mimic other contexts. Instead, we should let the city grow around its own values and give a voice to entrepreneurs and actors that want the city to become a place where business projects with a social impact can thrive. As a city, we have to fight against inequality and encourage more social cohesion. The role of a company today is not only to create economic wealth, but to be a key actor in moulding a city where the quality of life and employment are better, and to us, that’s one of the key ingredients of the Barcelona of the future.” The Barcelona model has taken us a long way; now, the city’s facing the possibility of shaping its own narrative and a chance to become something truly special. And maybe only then, will the unicorns follow.


SUCCESS STORIES GLOVO Founded 2014 Glovo delivers anything you can think of (except for live animals) from over 3,000 local suppliers straight to your door in under an hour, by assigning tasks to independent couriers, known as ‘Glovers’.

WALLAPOP Founded 2013 This marketplace app uses geolocation to match local buyers and sellers, and has changed the way we see and sell secondhand items. Think of it as an online flea market where you can find and sell almost anything.

TRAVELPERK Founded 2015 TravelPerk aims to revolutionise the way that organisations budget, book and manage their business travel. The tool allows anyone to manage all their travel in one place, it’s free to use and makes it easy to compare prices and get the best deal.

TYPEFORM Founded 2012 Typeform wants to revolutionise form filling by making the process of gathering large scale information more beautiful, interactive and human. It allows anyone to build good-looking and easily shared surveys and forms using templates, or just their imagination.

CORNERJOB Founded 2015 CornerJob’s mission is to help people find a job in the shortest timeframe possible by allowing users to find geolocated job offers, apply for them, chat directly with recruiters and get an answer within 24 hours. It aims to make hiring easier, quicker and more flexible, especially focusing on blue-collar jobs.


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elebrating nochevieja (New Year’s Eve) in Barcelona can quite literally be a mouthful: eating 12 grapes on the 12 strokes of midnight is no mean feat. Like most celebrations in Barcelona, there are a number of traditions connected to ringing in the new year, and grape gulping is just one of them. Wearing red undies is said to bring good luck for the following year, as well as provide a little festive cheer, and don’t forget to toast at midnight with a ring in your glass of cava for wealth and prosperity. Let this schedule guide you through the festivities. 10...9...8...7...

5.30PM LA CURSA DELS NASSOS Kick off 2018 with Barcelona’s fun and flat 10km Sant Silvestre run. With various races being held around Spain, it’s a tradition that gives everyone the opportunity to burn off some calories before the feast later on. The event was given its name by the home dels nassos (the man of noses), a Catalan mythical figure who parades around the streets of Barcelona on December 31st, and is said to have as many noses as there are days left in the year. Thankfully, on the last day of the year, the nose count is at one. The race will begin just outside the Selva de Mar metro station. Registration costs €14. 9PM TRADITION-FUELLED FOOD Spain is more family-orientated when it comes to New Year’s Eve than many other parts of the world. Tradition dictates that the hours leading up to midnight are spent enjoying a huge dinner with family and friends. The meal is brought to an end at the stroke of midnight, when the grapes are eaten. 12AM HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hosted at Montjuïc’s Magic Fountain, Barcelona’s official New Year’s Eve event features performing arts starting from 11pm, followed by a 30-minute firework display at midnight. The event is free and will place you at the heart of the festive atmosphere before either heading home or plunging into the city’s nightlife. 2AM DANCE UNTIL DAWN It’s no secret that Barcelona knows how to party and the city doesn’t disappoint when it comes to New Year’s Eve (see right). It’s best to book tickets as soon as possible as events sell out quickly.

NEW YEAR’S DAY 12PM PRIMER BANY DE L’ANY What better way to start the new year fresh than with a plunge into the Med? People of all ages are welcome to join the 400 happy swimmers as they rush into the icy waters at Sant Sebastià beach. Registration is free, and includes a hot shower at the Club Natació Atlètic-Barceloneta and, most importantly, a certificate for your brave efforts.


Dance until dawn at these parties across town POBLE ESPANYOL Head to the party in a marquee on the Plaça Major and the Poble Espanyol nightclub for some of the best music from the Seventies up to current hits. Tickets are €35 until December 22nd, €40 after, and €50 at the door. 10.30pm-6am. W BARCELONA ‘Remix your year’ at Eclipse’s Whiteout Party, one of the glitziest parties in town. Access from 10pm is €100 per person, including two drink tickets and 12 grapes, while those entering after 1.30am pay €50, including one drink ticket. RAZZMATAZZ A superb choice for those looking for more of a club scene that dips into the realms of indie-pop, new wave and electro-rock. Tickets range from €40-€70, depending on what time you want to enter and how far in advance you book. MARULA CAFÉ For a night out that won’t bust your year-end budget, Marula Café is a great option. Reserve tickets online for just €10, one drink included. JAMBOREE For a cool underground vibe, the vaulted brick dancefloor underneath Plaça Reial will be playing the biggest hits in hip-hop, funk and soul. Visit for complete listings.


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Photo by Will Shank, Keith Haring artwork © Keith Haring Foundation



ne of Barcelona’s great public art treasures is an intensely red linear mural on a concrete wall near the entrance of the MACBA in the Raval. The long horizontal piece depicts a horror story of drugs, illness and death being attacked by various Haringesque creatures, humanoid forms and a condom. Good ultimately triumphs over Evil, and its message is upbeat: Todos juntos podemos parar el sida (Together we can stop AIDS). Sadly, AIDS stopped Keith Haring, one scant year after his visit to Barcelona. But his legacy lives on in this work. Just one thing: Is this really a Keith Haring mural? The answer is both yes and no. As they say in Spanish, ‘es complicado’. This lasting monument to one of the great American artists of the Eighties came about spontaneously and quickly one winter week in 1989. Haring, a young superstar in the US, who first attracted attention by painting in New York’s subway stations, had gone to Madrid for the ARCO art fair and he wanted to see Barcelona before leaving Spain for Morocco. One Thursday night in February he found himself at an art reception at the Joan Prats Gallery on Rambla de Catalunya, which was showing the work of local artist Frederic Amat. There he met an old friend from New York, Montse Guillen—the art-and-food maven who, together with Catalan multidisciplinary artist Antoni Miralda, created the famous TriBeCa eatery-cum-gallery, El Internacional Restaurant, which introduced the concept of the tapa to the US.


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His legacy lives on through the powerful simplicity of his imagery...a universally recognised visual language

Guillen, now an active septuagenarian who commutes between Miami and Barcelona, reminisced with me recently in a Poblenou studio that she and Miralda have filled with an archive of Miralda’s work spanning several decades. She seemed pleased to have the opportunity to revisit the moment in 1989, when she was instrumental in convincing Haring to leave a lasting legacy in Barcelona. “He liked breakfast. He liked sandwiches. He was very quiet. He didn’t talk much. He always had music playing when he worked.” He also worked quickly; her recollection is that the 34-metre-high mural was completed before lunchtime that Saturday (Haring’s journal has him arriving at 12pm sharp and working for five hours). In his diaries he commented on the angle of the wall that forced his body to do a kind of dance with the mural as he painted because he had to partially hover over it. When he was finished, the red testimonial to safe-sex-andno-drugs seemed like a permanent fixture in the Raval. A lunch was arranged by Sidria Segura, who had been a bartender at El Internacional in New York, and Haring gave her his brushes as a keepsake of the event.

Keith Haring artwork © Keith Haring Foundation

Photo by Will Shank, Keith Haring artwork © Keith Haring Foundation

“Keith, do you like Barcelona?” Guillen remembers the conversation starting. “Would you like to do something here?” His answer was that he didn’t want to do interviews; he didn’t want to talk. “Why don’t you do a mural?” Guillen asked him. It was Thursday night, and he had scheduled only a few days in the city. “He’ll do a mural!” Guillen told her friend Angels Yagüe, a Spanish TV reporter, who was with her at the Amat reception. The next day, Guillen and her friends hustled to make sure they could find a wall for Haring to paint. They enlisted the aid of influential local politician Ferran Mascarell, whom Guillen still credits for making the mural event possible. Haring chose a slanted wall in Plaça de Salvador Seguí, now the home of the Filmoteca de Catalunya. He was warned that this was one of the most dangerous areas of town, littered with needles, but he was attracted to it perhaps for that very reason, as he wanted to create a message about the dangers of drugs and AIDS. The wall was approved—a long, low buttress that leaned against a brick building—and a police presence was arranged.


KEITH HARING Keith Haring was born on May 4th, 1958, in Reading, Pennsylvania. He grew up in nearby Kutztown, and developed a love for drawing, taking inspiration from elements of contemporary pop culture, such as Walt Disney and Dr. Seuss. After graduating from high school in 1976, Haring did a brief stint studying at a commercial arts school in Pittsburgh before moving to New York City and enrolling in the School of Visual Arts (SVA). It was here that he really developed his identity as an artist, easily integrating into the thriving alternative art community of musicians, and performance and graffiti artists. In this environment he refined his signature style, defined by the primacy of the line, and in 1980 began using unused advertising panels on the metro to leave a public trail of his distinctive drawings. International recognition followed, with the first half of the Eighties seeing Haring complete a number of public projects, from an animation for the Spectacolor billboard in Times Square to designing Swatch watches and creating murals worldwide. Throughout his career, he was devoted to social projects, including his most famous mural Crack is Wack, as well as holding drawing workshops for children across the world and illustrating many literacy programmes. In 1988, Haring was diagnosed with AIDS and died in 1990, aged 31. His legacy lives on today through the powerful simplicity of his imagery, which has become a universally recognised visual language.

The painstaking process of restoring Haring’s Raval mural beside the MACBA Photos by Will Shank, Keith Haring artwork © Keith Haring Foundation


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Frederic Amat with Keith Haring at ARS disco, 1989. Photo by Montse Guillen, owned by Frederic Amat. Keith Haring artwork © Keith Haring Foundation.


A full list of murals, their current status and a map can be found on the website of the Keith Haring Foundation.

Keith Haring artwork © Keith Haring Foundation.

COLLINGWOOD MURAL (1984) at a former technical school in Melbourne, Australia. CRACK IS WACK (1986) is an iconic antidrug mural visible to the public near a major thoroughfare in New York City. This one has been repainted. TOWER (1987) at the Hopital Necker des Enfants Malades in the 15th arrondissement of Paris. UNTITLED (1987), in the cafeteria of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp, Belgium. TUTTOMONDO (1989) is on the outside wall of the church of Sant’Antonio Abate in Pisa. MONTE CARLO MURAL (1989) is located inside the Princess Grace Maternity Hospital, and was executed at the request of Princess Caroline of Monaco.

Crack is Wack (1986), New York

More adventures awaited Haring that Saturday and, by the end of the day, he had completed a second, smaller mural, behind the DJ booth at a disco on Carrer d’Atenes called Studio Ars, accompanied by Segura, Guillen, Amat and others. The mural is still visible behind the bar of the establishment, which is now a pool hall also called ARS. A few days later, after visiting the Sagrada Família, the Museu Picasso and the Fundació Joan Miró, he was gone. The Raval mural turned out not to be permanent. During the few years of its existence at its original location, it was severely tagged, scratched and disfigured. When the city decided to renovate Plaça de Salvador Seguí in 1992 as part of the ‘Special Plan for Interior Reform’ (Pla Especial de Reforma Interior, or PERI) in the Raval, the mural was scheduled for demolition. The city council stepped in and asked the director and curator of the fledgling MACBA, Daniel Giralt Miracle and Antónia Maria Perelló, to evaluate its condition and present a proposal to somehow save it. When it became clear that the original could not be preserved, paint samples were taken from the wall by a conservation team, and a full-scale tracing of the mural was made for eventual transfer to another wall. The plan was approved by the heirs of the artist, who had died in February 1990, aged 31. Twice in the first decade after the mural’s disappearance (1996, and again in 1998), the tracing was used as a guide for transfer of Haring’s linear design to a wall near the MACBA entrance. If the spontaneous brushwork for which Haring was well-known is not in evidence, his design definitely is. The work is a meticulous process in the hands of the conservation and installation staff of the MACBA, who have made the lost work miraculously reappear in Haring’s vivid red on a gray concrete wall by pouncing paint through holes in the plastic and then connecting the dots. And although subsequent versions of the transparent tracing have been created, the one from 1992 is used as a master copy, according to conservator Silvia Noguer, so as to not lose any nuance. In February 2014, on the 25th anniversary of the original event, MACBA, in agreement with the Keith Haring Foundation, re-created it for a third time. This one, says Noguer, is intended to be permanent. ¡Que viva Keith Haring!


Frederic Amat reminisces about Keith Haring and his days in New York and Barcelona. Amat is a local visual artist, painter, filmmaker and writer. In early Eighties New York, subway passengers were confronted with a series of drawings on black paper glued up around the stations, waiting to be replaced by the next paid campaign. There was no signature on the drawings, and I was fascinated by their radicality, far from the virtuosity of graffiti spray or testimonial tags. At the time, I was working at the Dieu Donné Papermill in Soho, and was able to unstick one of these black panels, which I still have in my studio. After some time, we found out that the author was a student of the School of Visual Arts named Keith Haring. Throughout the decade, his work spread across the city like wildfire, and then across the world. The Lower East Side was the epicentre in those days. I remember seeing an exhibition of Haring’s drawings in the Mudd Club and at Tony Shafarzi’s Gallery on Mercer Street. It was there that I finally met Haring; we had a brief conversation and he signed a catalogue for me. I couldn’t have imagined that seven years later I would meet Haring again in Barcelona at the opening of an exhibition of mine. In just 10 years, Haring had shot to global fame, his constellation of images leaving a permanent mark on the history of 20th-century art. I have always felt in his work the dance of a singular calligraphy; even when it is repeated infinitely by merchandising, it does not diminish its subversive artistic identity. I am sure that the exhibition at Joan Prats must have been pretty boring for him. We talked about Miró, and I insisted that he go see the romantic murals exalting its frontality. Montse Guillen was among the friends at the opening that evening. Right there, Haring’s Barcelona mural was conceived and the best location offered, el barrio chino. I was very sad when it was removed from its original location, although today there is a nice copy near the MACBA. That same weekend, Keith, Gilbert Vázquez (Keith’s travelling companion), Montse and I, went to the ‘Ars’ disco. The DJ offered his decks to Gilbert while Keith painted a red figure on the wall. I was fascinated to see him dancing and painting freely, guided by a profound intuition. While I observed the scene, Montse took some Polaroids. After a while, Keith, looking at the pictures of himself painting, with Gilbert DJing and myself in the foreground, took his black marker and drew a big phallus coming out of my raincoat! I still have the Polaroid today, and a wonderful memory of a true artist partying away into the night, having left us a trace of great light on a wall of


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ELTON JOHN. PALAU SANT JORDI. PG. OLÍMPIC 5-7. DECEMBER 3RD. In June 1967, a shy, young Reggie Dwight responded to an advert in NME announcing auditions for Liberty Records. The label’s A&R man, Ray Williams, introduced the aspiring musician to 17-year-old lyricist Bernie Taupin in a moment that gave life to a lyrical partnership that would span decades. Fifty years and 300 million record sales later, global superstar Sir Elton John looks back on his lengthy career—from the reputation of diva-like debauchery that characterised his rise to fame, to later sober years in which he founded The Elton John Aids Foundation and was knighted for his service—and of course, his stunning record of five Grammy awards, five Brit awards, 10 number one albums and more than 50 UK Top 40 hits. This month, the musical icon visits Barcelona on his Wonderful Crazy Night Tour to perform his 33rd studio album of the same name, a record that revisits the wild, libertine years of the early Seventies, and that, according to Rolling Stone, benefits from ‘a matured pace and weighting’.


NEWTON FAULKNER. L’AUDITORI. LEPANT 150. DECEMBER 2ND. A lot has changed since Newton Faulkner rocketed to critical acclaim with his double-platinum-selling debut album, Hand Built by Robots (2007). Having displaced Amy Winehouse at the top of the UK album chart in August 2007, the English singer-songwriter became known for his percussive guitar technique, as well as his sensitive, self-reflective lyricism that saw him labelled as the UK’s answer to Jack Johnson. Keen to defy musical categorisation, the artist has since transformed his image both musically and aesthetically, most notably in the music video for his single ‘Get Free’ (2015), in which he takes scissors to his trademark red dreadlocks. In his two latest albums, Faulkner has welcomed the input of collaborative songwriters and producers, including the Australian psychedelic duo Empire of the Sun and the highly esteemed producer Cenzo Townshend, to name but a few. Inspired by an interest in African and Chinese folk music, Faulkner has placed greater emphasis on rhythm in recent years, with the drums becoming a component as integral to his music as the guitar. For the first time, the artist comes to Spain to perform his latest album, Hit the Ground Running (2017).


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DEPECHE MODE. PALAU SANT JORDI. PG. OLÍMPIC 5-7. DECEMBER 7TH. Formed in Basildon, Essex, in the dying days of Seventies punk decadence, electronic trio Depeche Mode went from cult fringe act to one of the most successful bands of the past four decades, selling over 100 million records worldwide. Taking their name from a French fashion magazine, Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher drew from a variety of artistic influences, from the synth-heavy electronics of Kraftwerk and The Human League, to David Bowie, The Clash and Elvis Presley. They secured mainstream success with albums Black Celebration (1986) and Music for the Masses (1987), becoming teen idols and drawing a crowd of over 60,000 at their 1988 Pasadena Rose Bowl concert. Described by Q as ‘the most popular electronic band the world has ever known’, with 17 top ten albums and 50 songs in the UK singles chart, they’re also ranked amongst VH1’s ‘100 Greatest Artists of All Time’. After more than 30 years of music, the band return to Barcelona on their Global Spirit Tour, with an album (Spirit, 2017) inspired by the new Trump-era in the US.

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Back-combed, kohl-lined and draped in black, the garage-punk English band formed in 2005 and gained notoriety around London for their Robert Smith-esque look, unsettling, post-punk revival sound, and brief but frantic live shows. Their new album, V (2017), still follows their basic formula of languid melodies interrupted by guitar and synth charges, but this time they’ve thrown some grit into the mix with heavier beats and louder vocals. Following the lighter, atmospheric sound of their

self-produced album Skying (2011), they have since morphed into something more experimental, creating a more unsettling sound akin to their garage-rock roots. It’s darker and more raw, but still borrows from Eighties post-punk, synth-pop and Nineties dance beats. With an impressive five studio albums charting within the UK Top 40, the band have enjoyed immense success and supported New Order in 2015, and Depeche Mode on their Global Spirit Tour earlier this year.


LOS PLANETAS. SANT JORDI CLUB. PG. OLÍMPIC 5-7. DECEMBER 1ST. Described as ‘one of the most important groups in the Spanish musical panorama’ by the music festival Contempopránea, who dedicated its 2017 event to the band, Los Planetas have shown remarkable staying power since forming in Granada in 1993. With a mix of unrestrained instrumental noise and gentle melodies, they have been credited with hugely influencing the sound of Spanish indie rock. The band cites their biggest inspirations as the American group Mercury Rev and the English rockers Joy Division, whose song ‘Disorder’ they often lovingly cover. The group has also benefitted from the enigmatic, psychedelic quality of the artwork that accompanies their music— the eye-catching illustrated album covers for Super 8 (1994), POP (1996) and Unidad de desplazamiento (2000) have become iconic in their own right. The band shows no signs of slowing down as they visit Barcelona to showcase songs from the recently released Zona Temporalmente Autónoma (2017).


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1st. Miranda! Razzmatazz. Pamplona 88. 2nd. Forest Swords Sala Apolo. Nou de la Rambla 113. 3rd. Elton John Palau Sant Jordi. Pg. Olímpic 5-7. 4th. Gold + Foscor Razzmatazz. Pamplona 88. 7th. Depeche Mode Sant Jordi Club. Pg. Olímpic 5-7. 7th. Dead Parties Marula Café. Escudellers 49. 8th. Sexy Zebras Sidecar. Pl. Reial 7. 9th. Foyone Sala Apolo. Nou de la Rambla 113. 12th. In Flames Sant Jordi Club. Pg. Olímpic 5-7. 13th & 14th. The Excitements Sala Apolo. Nou de la Rambla 113. 15th. Rural Zombies Sidecar. Pl. Reial 7. 16th. Franco De Vita Sant Jordi Club. Pg. Olímpic 5-7. 16th. La Bien Querida Sala Apolo. Nou de la Rambla 113. 19th. Harlem Gospel Choir BARTS. Paral·lel 62. 20th. Leticia Moreno Palau Reial de Pedralbes. Diagonal 686. 21st. Virginia and the Woolfs Harlem Jazz Club. Comtessa de Sobradiel 8. 22nd. Melendi Palau Sant Jordi. Pg. Olímpic 5-7. 23rd. Penny Necklace Sidecar. Plaça Reial 7. 26th. Ara Malikian Auditori del Fòrum. Pl. Leonardo da Vinci 11-14. 27th & 28th. Jarabe de Palo Luz de Gas. Muntaner 246. 29th. Brighton 64 Sidecar. Pl. Reial 7.

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ADOLF LOOS: PRIVATE SPACES. MUSEU DEL DISSENY. PLAÇA DE LES GLÒRIES CATALANES 37. OPENING DECEMBER 14TH. The Museu del Disseny de Barcelona presents Spain’s first exhibition dedicated to the works of Viennese architect Adolf Loos (1870-1933). With a large sample of his work, the exhibition will catalogue the aesthetic revolution of the pioneer of Modernist architecture, focusing on his exploration of the distinction between public and private spaces. A unique and controversial theorist, Loos stood opposed to the lavish style of fin de siècle architecture and the Neoclassical ornamentation popularised by artistic contemporaries such as Gustav Klimt and Josef Hoffman of the Vienna Secession. His pared-back, minimal exteriors rejected contemporary trend, yet it was Loos’ interior designs that were most revolutionary. With reference to the literary, architectural and philosophical context of early-20thcentury Vienna, the exhibition will display the furnishings used by the architect in his homes and apartments to add new definition to these intimate and domestic spheres.

Fundació Joan Miró (Parc de Montjuïc): Prying Eyes


ART WORKSHOPS. VARIOUS LOCATIONS. DECEMBER 3RD-30TH. Many of the city’s museums and art galleries offer a range of activities to help little ones get creative. Expose your children to the work of a master at one of many workshops at the Fundació Joan Miró (Parc de Montjuïc): Prying Eyes (December 3rd and 27th at 11am, ages 5-8) is a two-hour workshop experimenting with everyday objects that the artist used in his sculptures; the ABC Miró tour of the museum (December 10th at 11am, ages 4-8) is based on the book Abecedario Miró by Mar Morón and Gemma París; and Look What I Found! involves collecting objects in the Cypress Garden, following Miró’s own habit of collecting and classifying objects and items from nature. To get in the festive spirit, the MACBA (Plaça dels Àngels 1) is hosting a Christmas workshop, ¡Vamos a Inventar Objetos! (December 27th-29th, ages 6-12), using pipes, mirrors, steel ducts and a car park to decontextualise objects and stretch imaginations with a Christmas twist. Finally, Gaudí’s mosaics are the inspiration for L’Encís del Trencadís workshop at La Pedrera (Provença 261-265), where children will make Christmas candle holders and bring a little festive twinkle home (December 9th-30th, ages 4-12).


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Inauguration Exhibitions October 2017. Museu Picasso, Barcelona. © David Campos.



Will Shank visits ‘1917. Picasso in Barcelona’ at the Museu Picasso Until January 28th, 2018


n 1904, Pablo Picasso left Barcelona for France, pretty much for good, though he returned for an extended stay from June until November of 1917. That brief visit is the subject of a small exhibition at the Museu Picasso that commemorates the centenary of the event. By the time the 35-year-old Picasso returned in triumph to the city where he had spent his adolescence, his father was dead, his surviving sister, Lola, (another sister had died young) was raising a large family, and his ageing mother still lived on Carrer de la Mercè in the Barri Gòtic. Picasso, on the other hand, had found fame and fortune in Paris, where he occupied a central place in the heady artistic circles of the Cubist art revolution. He was also about to marry for the first time, to a Russian dancer with the Ballets Russes, Olga Kohklova. Their shared interest in the travelling productions of Serge de Diaghilev’s ballet brought the couple to Barcelona as the company was on tour and scheduled to perform at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in both the spring and fall of 1917. Picasso had designed some of the sets and costumes for the opera. This three-room exhibition places Picasso’s avant-garde work in context by filling the first gallery with traditional paintings and prints, which were shown in an exhibition of French art that year at the Palau de Belles Arts. The wall text is curiously unhelpful in informing the visitor about the location of this palace (a Google search revealed that it formerly stood on Passeig de Lluís Companys, opposite the Parc de la Ciutadella), as well as whether or not the loan works, including a Sisley Impressionist landscape, were part of the 1917 exhibition there. The second gallery is filled with photographs of Picasso and Kohklova as tourists in the city (at Tibidabo, Montjuïc, on La Rambla, and at hotels on Passeig de Colom). A vitrine filled with correspondence, souvenirs, bullring (Las Arenas) tickets and hotel receipts, all of them scrupulously preserved by the Picasso archive in Paris, rounds out the historical information. Sketches for the performers’ costumes in the

‘Parade’ section of the Ballets Russes production are included, and the wall text teases the viewer with an oblique reference to a ‘scandal’ that influenced how the opera was previously received, but we are left hanging with no further explanation. The curators have pulled everything they could find from 1917 out of storage and tried to come up with a theme. The result is a mishmash that shows Picasso killing time while waiting to return to his real life in Paris. What is extraordinary to observe in the last gallery is the wildly divergent range of styles that the artist employs over the course of six months. Here he paints Kohklova ‘a la andaluza’, wearing a mantilla, in a traditional academic style, and there he goes fully abstract in a series of Cubist still life/portraits. His well-known view of the Columbus statue at Drassanes is a hybrid of the two styles. A drawing of a painfully wounded horse neighing to the sky predates his Guernica, amazingly, by two full decades. The catalogue that accompanies the exhibition makes the content look more compelling than it is on the walls. In print, the six-month period is fleshed out with every page of drawings from Picasso’s sketchbooks, and an essay by Malén Gual fills in the gaps that are left by the wall text of the small exhibition. The catalogue also touches on the global turmoil of the time, which goes unmentioned in the exhibition. Most interesting, for me at least, is the proximity of two other exhibitions that are peripherally related to the 1917 show. As you leave the main event thinking, ‘Is that all there is?’, you can cross the hall and ponder an unusual offering for the art museum: an installation focused on boxing 100 years ago in Barcelona. At the tail end of the show about the charismatic poet-boxer named Arthur Cravan, there is a gallery dedicated to Picasso’s own fascination with the sport, including some littleseen Cubist depictions of boxers. If the visitor ventures upstairs in the museum, an exhibition about the mature Picasso, in the Lacourière-Frélaut workshop (‘El Taller Compartido’), sharing his vast printmaking knowledge with two of sister Lola’s sons, brings the family photos downstairs full circle.


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© Forensic Architecture, 2015




Slavery lasted for 300 years in Brazil, and approximately 50 percent of the country’s population is of African descent. The cultural and religious practices developed by slaves and their descendents had a major impact on Brazilian culture—in many cases becoming intertwined with the Catholic beliefs of slave owners—influencing the social structure that characterises

the society today. São Paulo-based photojournalist Ricardo Teles has long been fascinated with the diversity of Afro-Brazilian culture, and in this project, which he has been working on for over a decade, he focuses on documenting the colourful rituals and practices celebrated by this multicultural society.

Casa Puig i Cadafalch, Argentona. ©Ramon Manent


JOSEP PUIG I CADAFALCH, AS SEEN BY RAMON MANENT I RODON. MUSEU DEL DISSENY. UNTIL JANUARY 28TH. The Museu del Disseny commemorates the 150th anniversary of Josep Puig i Cadafalch’s birth, and the centenary of his accession to the presidency of the Mancomunitat de Catalunya, with an exhibition by Catalan photographer Ramon Manent i Rodon. Manent’s interests lie in the photography of Modernista art and architecture, and his previous projects include an investigation into the works of Gaudí. Now he turns his attention to Puig i Cadafalch’s architectural works—Els Quatre Gats, Casa Coll i Regàs, Palau del Baró de Quadras and more— exploring them through his use of form, texture and nuanced colour. Not only was Puig i Cadafalch a key figure in the history of Catalan art and architecture, but also an important figure in town planning, a Catalan nationalist politician and a promoter of cultural enterprises. He was prominent in the early-20th-century Modernisme and Noucentisme movements, and much of his architectural masterpieces reflect his fascination with Classical and Baroque styles. The Museu d’Història de Catalunya has arranged its own homage to the great architect, ‘Puig i Cadafalch. Arquitecte de Catalunya’, running simultaneously (until April 14th, 2018) and exhibiting historical photographs of Puig i Cadafalch taken between 1917 and 1923.


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OPENINGS FUNDACIÓ JOAN MIRÓ Joan Miró and the nativity scene figurines The foundation’s annual Christmas-themed installation focuses on Joan Miró’s fascination with folk art objects, which he collected and recreated in several of his paintings and sculptures. Opened November 21st. Parc de Montjuïc. GALERIA JOAN PRATS Joan Ponç / Joan Brossa The surreal visual work of the Catalan artists who were the driving force behind Dau al Set, widely considered one of the best avant-garde magazines of the 20th century. Opened November 30th. Balmes 54. TRES PUNTS GALERIA Santiago Picatoste The Mallorcan visual artist, painter and recipient of the 2012 International Sculpture Award presents his recent work, defined by abstract shapes and colour. Opened November 30th. Enric Granados 21. BLUEPROJECT FOUNDATION De la línea al movimiento Mexican Jorge Méndez-Blake and Colombian Mateo López, two visual artists interested in exploring the connection between literature, fictional narrative and artwork, join forces for this exhibition. Opening December 14th. Princesa 57.

LAST CHANCE GALERÍA SENDA Stephan Balkenhol The German sculptor known for carving distinctive human figures from blocks of wood with traditional tools, presents his first solo exhibition in Barcelona. Until December 9th. Trafalgar 32. GALERÍA CONTRAST SKUM. Vice, mess and waste The first solo gallery exhibition from the mysterious Barcelona graffiti artist known as SKUM. Until December 13th. Consell de Cent 281.

CAIXAFORUM Andy Warhol. Mechanical art A retrospective of one of the most iconic artists of all time, bringing together 352 paintings and sculptures from prestigious museums around the world. Until December 31st. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia 6-8.

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Joan Miró, 1973 - Barcelona series, plate 8

PROJEKTERIA West || East Coinciding with Barcelona DOCfield film festival, artists Diambra Mariani, Francesco Mion and Jose Navarrete display photographic work that reflect this year’s festival theme of ‘a journey’. Until December 15th. Ricart 19.

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ANNA KARENINA BALLET. GRAN TEATRE DEL LICEU. LA RAMBLA 51-59. DECEMBER 20TH-23RD. After filling theatres across Europe and North America, Boris Eifman’s ballet Anna Karenina arrives for the first time at the Gran Teatre del Liceu. Set to a melange of Tchaikovsky works, the production transmits the urgent passion and desperation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel through Eifman’s trademark fusion of classical and modern dance. The tragic tale of Countess Anna Karenina, who defies all moral and social convention with devastating consequences, is condensed into a stripped-back yet powerful exploration of the love triangle between Anna, her husband, Karenin, and her lover, Count Vronsky. Born in Siberia in 1946, Eifman trained as a dancer in Moldova and studied at the Leningrad Conservatory. He worked as a choreographer at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet for 10 years before founding his own ballet company in 1977. The ballet’s premiere in Saint Petersburg back in 2005 secured Eifman’s reputation as one of the most outstanding Russian choreographers of our time. The company comes to Barcelona for four nights only, opening on December 20th.


BCN POTTERCON ‘17. EDIFICI HISTÒRIC DE LA UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA. ARIBAU 2. DECEMBER 2ND & 3RD. J.K. Rowling’s magical world of Harry Potter makes its way to Barcelona for the second edition of Barcelona PotterCon. The series comes to life in all its fantastical glory with this year’s Hogsmeade Market and cosplay competition. Visitors will be able to buy all the necessary equipment to start a new year at Hogwarts, with craftsmen and artists selling robes, wands, books, strange potions and elixirs, as well as curious creatures and butterbeer. This year, the cosplay competition (Sunday 3rd at 4pm) will present a new category: ‘original character’ intends to stretch the imagination of all Potterheads, as they’re pushed to create a costume for their own, original magical creature or character. There will also be a whole host of workshops, taught by Hogwarts professors, in fields such as potion making and broom flying. Exhibitions and talks will take place throughout the weekend, with a lecture by Ekaitz Ikazu on the ‘Studies of Gender and Adaptation in the work of J.K. Rowling’.


GUIRINESS COMEDY BARCELONA: JOE ROONEY. SHAMROCK IRISH BAR. TALLERS 72. DECEMBER 15TH. Joe Rooney, 54, is by no means a novice to stand-up and acting, but one of his roles in particular has a tendency to follow the Irish comedian around. In 1996, he appeared in an episode of Irish sitcom Father Ted as the rebellious Father Damo, who hilariously tried to lead naive priest Dougal astray, and Rooney says the character has stuck with people. “I didn’t know when I was doing Father Ted that I would still be talking about it 20 years later, but that’s the way things go!” he said. “I am always trying new things and you never know what part or what show will have an impact on your career.” While he continues to enjoy acting, the immediacy of the stand-up stage is where he feels most at home. “I do love becoming another character, but you have to wait to get a good part. Someone else has to choose you for a role. With stand-up, I can get on the phone and book a room and just do it.” He also appreciates the opportunities stand-up gives him to travel, such as his latest gig in Barcelona. “I’ve performed here before and I was pleasantly surprised by the warmth and enthusiasm of the audience. I did some material about Spanish curse words, which went down well, and this time I’m thinking about learning some Catalan phrases too.”


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It’s that time of year again and there’s no better way to prepare for it than with a trip to some of the city’s Christmas markets FIRA DE SANTA LLúCIA. NOVEMBER 24TH-DECEMBER 23RD. The city’s largest and oldest Christmas market celebrates its 231st year this winter. Located on Avinguda de la Catedral, in front of the Barcelona Cathedral, the market presents nearly 300 stalls selling Christmas gifts and decorations, including Christmas trees and all kinds of nativity scene figurines. In addition, there are family activities taking place, such as cultural workshops, gegants parades and sardana dancing. FIRA DE NADAL DE LA SAGRADA FAMíLIA. DECEMBER 1ST-24TH. Born out of the need to expand the Santa Llúcia market in 1962, this smaller market is set against the stunning backdrop of the Sagrada Família. It has since earned a reputation to rival that of the Llúcia market, featuring its own selection of traditional handmade Christmas gifts, decorations and Catalan fare. CHRISTMAS AT POBLE ESPANYOL. DECEMBER 21ST-JANUARY 5TH. Once again Poble Espanyol will turn its streets into a winter wonderland for the holidays, with nativity scenes, live music, a traditional Christmas market, shows and children’s workshops. In addition, from December 22nd to 24th children can visit Santa and tell him what they would like for Christmas, and from December 25th until January 5th, they will have the chance to meet the Three Kings and deliver their letters in person. ALL THOSE FOOD MARKET. DECEMBER 2ND-3RD. Offering a modern take on the city’s otherwise traditional markets, All Those launches its Christmas edition. With the aim of bringing new gastronomy and entrepreneurs together in one space, the market will showcase their independent projects and unique ventures. Focusing not only on food, the market hosts stalls from the city’s illustrators, designers and boutiques, selling Christmas decorations and gifts.

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GOLD+FOSCOR Contemporary rock band from the Netherlands, GOLD, perform their new album, Optimist (2017), along with Barcelona local band Foscor. 8pm. Razzmatazz.

The great opera by Giuseppe Verdi, based on the novel The Lady of Camellias (1848) by Alexandre Dumas. Palau de la Música Catalana. Until April 19th.

MONGOLIE (1976) A screening of Salvador Dalí’s only film, an experimental work following a journey through Upper Mongolia. Spanish with Catalan subtitles. 7pm. CaixaForum.

HIVERNACLE POP-UP CLUB The innovative club night signs off for another series, headlined by Italian IDM duo Mind Against. 10pm. Poble Espanyol.








VINYASA MASTERCLASS Practise vinyasa yoga and breathing techniques at this two-hour class. 5pm. The Spinning Yogis.

ENRIQUE BUNBURY The Spanish rock legend presents his latest album, Expectativas (2017). 9pm. Razzmatazz.



BARCELONA INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROFESSIONALS A live presentation followed by networking with industry peers. 7pm. Pl. Comercial 11.

The Eighties electronic band bring their Global Spirit Tour to Barcelona’s dance-pop fans. 9pm. Palau Sant Jordi.



POTTERCON Step into J.K. Rowling’s magical world at this convention dedicated to all Potterheads. Edificio Histórico UB, Pl. Universitat. Until December 3rd.

EL AMOR SIGUE EN EL AIRE The successful musical comedy returns to Barcelona, starring Bibiana Fernández, Manuel Bandera, Alaska and Mario Vaquerizo. Teatre Tívoli. Until December 3rd.



Hear the English singer-songwriter’s blend of folk and pop-rock overtones as he presents his latest album, Hit the Ground Running (2017). 9pm. L’Auditori.

One of the most prominent Spanish indie-rock bands perform their new album, Zona Temporalmente Autónoma (2017). 9pm. Sant Jordi Club.






ABC MIRÓ A tour, in Catalan, of the Fundació Joan Miró for kids, based on the book Abecedario Miró. 11am. Fundació Joan Miró.


ARIAS Y COROS FAMOSOS DE OPERA The Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will perform fragments of Giuseppe Verdi’s greatest arias, duets and quartets. 5.30pm. Palau de la Música Catalana.

ALL THOSE FOOD MARKET The festival for culinary artisans and entrepreneurs returns with its Christmas edition, featuring live music, culinary workshops and countless activities. 11am. Museu Marítim de Barcelona.

The global superstar and multiplatinum record holder returns to Barcelona on the international tour of Wonderful Crazy Night (2016). 9pm. Palau Sant Jordi.



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JOHANN STRAUSS - GRAN CONCIERTO DE AÑO NUEVO One of the most anticipated concerts of the season, with 28 years of success and five million viewers worldwide. Get your tickets before they sell out. 9.30pm. Gran Teatre del Liceu.

CONCERT OF SANT ESTEVE An important annual event at the Palau de la Música, this concert unites some of the city’s best musical talent in celebration of the holidays. 7pm. Palau de la Música Catalana.

COPA DE NADAL DE NATACIÓ Join the swimming Santas for a Christmas day dip as they race 200m across Barcelona’s port. 12pm. Rambla de Mar.

MATINÉE WINTER FESTIVAL The 20th anniversary edition of the most awaited event in Razzmatazz’s social calendar. It’s sure to be an evening of high-level production, avant-garde shows and a mix of tech house and tribal rhythm dance music. 11pm. Razzmatazz.


NIT DE CIRC The eighth edition of the Zirkòlika Awards will be held at the Circ Històric Raluy tent this year. 8pm. Port Vell.

HARLEM GOSPEL CHOIR One of America’s most famous gospel choirs pays tribute to Beyoncé, singing her biggest hits in gospel key. 9pm. BARTS.

BARCELONA ENGLISH CHOIR The English choir's annual winter charity performance. 1pm. Parròquia de Sant Agustí.

CHRISTMAS ZOCO There’s no shortage of gift ideas at this family-friendly artisanal market. Torre Amat. December 15th-17th.

Slam poets take to the stage for the competition’s final session of the year. 6pm. CCCB.

Star Wars and other soundtracks by John Williams performed by the Orquestra Simfònica Camera Musicae. Palau de la Música. Until December 17th.



A NIGHT ON BROADWAY WITH ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER + OBC Song excerpts from the world-famous composer’s musicals, including ‘Memory’ (Cats), ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’ (Evita) and ‘Masquerade’ (The Phantom of the Opera). L’Auditori. December 22nd & 23rd.

Tori Sparks, Calamento and El Rubio perform a special Christmas concert in support of the Red Cross. 10pm. Nota 79.

NEW YEAR’S EVE CONCERT A lively concert to rev you up for the new year, covering music from the operas of Rossini and Offenbach, Strauss and Tchaikovsky. 7pm. L’Auditori.

The Cor Infantil Amics de la Unió, together with the Liceu orchestra, bring Charles Dickens’ festive story to life with aerial sand drawings. 12pm. Gran Teatre del Liceu.


MAGIC GOSPEL +5 Prepare to be dazzled by this unusual spectacle, uniting the beauty and energy of gospel music with the fantastical world of magic. CaixaForum. Until December 29th.

The Madrid-based electropop outfit take to the stage. 9pm. Sidecar.

NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY For over 25 years, Poble Espanyol has gone all out with bells, grapes, music and drinks until the early hours. 10.30pm. Poble Espanyol.

Join the traditional 10km Sant Silvestre run and burn off a few calories before the evening feast. 5.30pm. Selva de Mar.


CHRISTMAS EVE AT PACHA Party your way into Christmas Day with special appearances from Venezuelan DJ Fur Coat and Raxon, one of the Middle East’s most respected electronic artists. 11pm. Pacha.

Santa Maria del Mar holds its annual Christmas Eve mass to begin the religious celebrations. TBC. Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar.


BREAKFAST WITH SANTA The Hard Rock Café hosts its annual Christmas brunch, giving children the opportunity to meet their favourite Christmas characters and handdeliver their Christmas lists to Santa. 10am. Hard Rock Café.




RURAL ZOMBIES The Basque-country pop band present their second album, From Home to Hospital St., ahead of its release in January 2018. 9pm. Sidecar.

Guiriness Comedy presents an evening of stand-up with the Irish actor and comedian best known for his role as Father Damo in Father Ted. 8.30pm. The Shamrock.



DEMARCO FLAMENCO MARÍA ARTÉS AND MAKI A trio of Spanish pop sensations share the stage. 8pm. Razzmatazz.

The International Animation Film Festival of Catalonia presents a series of lectures by renowned animators and filmmakers, including Pedro Rivero and Alberto Vázquez. CCCB. Until January 4th, 2018.

As part of their 20th anniversary tour, the Spanish rock group return to Barcelona for a night full of hits. 8.30pm. Luz de Gas. CHAMBAO The last opportunity to see the Spanish electronic-flamenco band before they split for good. 9pm. Palau de la Música Catalana.



CONFLICT AND REPRESENTATION A workshop with artist Francesc Torres, who will discuss the content of his exhibition ‘What Does History Know of Nail-Biting?’ as well as his career. Centre d’Art Santa Mònica. December 21st & 22nd.

Feel the intense energy and charisma of the blues and soul band inspired by the sounds of Etta James, Mary Wells and Amy Winehouse. 10.30pm. Harlem Jazz Club.

The masterpiece of Russian choreographer Boris Eifman is performed at the Liceu for the first time. Gran Teatre del Liceu. Until December 23rd.

Yvonne Rainer presents ‘What’s so funny? Laughter and Anger in the Time of the Assassins’, a collection of jokes and lamentations on politics and life in Barcelona. 7pm. MACBA.

TCHAIKOVSKY GALA Experience the magic and drama of Tchaikovsky in a concert dedicated to his greatest works. 8pm. L’Auditori.

An exhibition exploring the literary, architectural and philosophical context of early-20th-century Vienna, which includes significant pieces of furniture used by the prominent Viennese architectural figure. Museu del Disseny de Barcelona. Until February 25th.


THE EXCITEMENTS An evening of old-school soul from the band described by Rolling Stone España as ‘pure dynamite on stage’. 8pm. Sala Apolo.

Fashion accessories, Christmas decorations, artisanal delicacies, toys and more for sale. Organised by AECC, support the fight against cancer at the Christmas edition of this market. Centre Cívic Vil∙la Florida. Until December 16th.





DIEGO SINNIGER WORKSHOP Actions and exercises to develop unconscious movement with dancer Diego Sinniger. Hiroshima. Until December 15th.

Presenting their fifth studio album, V (2017), the garage-punk outfit bring their psychedelic explosiveness to the city. 8pm. Sala Apolo.

The work of Joan Brossa will be revisited in this seminar, casting aside the various contexts of interpretation that have developed over the years to engage fully with the voice at the core of the artist’s work. MACBA. Until December 12th.

TEDXBARCELONA SALON Get inspired as TED hosts another session of ideas worth sharing. Theme to be confirmed. 7.30pm. Mazda Space, Comerç 60.




MARIO By Garry Gallon

© Paulo Consentino



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nside the auditorium of Barcelona’s grand Teatre Tívoli on a windy autumn day, a tall, slender figure in a pink jacket and black skinny jeans elegantly winds his way through the aisles. Mario Vaquerizo is already half way into a morning press tour but it doesn’t show. He only has a second to flick back his shoulder-length hair before the questions begin, but Vaquerizo remains eager to chat and delivers consistently engaging answers. It seems effortless, but then Mario Vaquerizo has made a career out of being a public persona. Despite the grey streaking through his black mane, there’s something of an eternal adolescence about him, not just in his rock-star look, but in the way he bounds up the steps to shake my hand and settles into his chair. He’s not as well-known outside of Spain, where he’s ubiquitous in the local media, so I ask him to describe himself for Metropolitan readers. He thinks for a second, perhaps trying to figure out how to condense such a large CV. “Well, as a really hard working person above all else,” he says. “And a person who, at 43 years old, is finally feeling confident; I’ve reached a place where I’m able to make a living from all of my interests.” He reels them off: journalist, singer, and now he’s doing theatre too. “I consider myself a multidisciplinary person,” he explains. “I work as a talent manager [for several Spanish acts, including Fast and the Furious alumni Elsa Pataky], I like to collaborate in television and radio programmes, I like to act. I do everything, for better or worse.”

“I actually find theatre acting pretty addictive...the idea of playing live to an audience has always excited me” He grins, but he also concedes this fluidity is not always so readily accepted. “Here in Spain we’re very dogmatic, professionally speaking, and it’s generally accepted that if you’re a journalist then you can’t be in a band. But I think you can.” He gets past this resistance by looking outwards and following an international career model. “For example Keanu Reeves—who I think is a great actor—also has his own band. I try to do things that I want to do, and I’m certainly a guy who will fight to do what I want.” It’s Monday morning and Vaquerizo is fresh off a weekend gig at Razzmatazz with his band, The Nancy Rubias, and is here to promote his theatre role in musical comedy, El amor sigue en el aire. Originally debuting as El amor está en el aire in Madrid in January 2015, starring Manuel Bandera and Bibiana Fernández, the show found great success on the Spanish theatre circuit and now returns to Barcelona after a sell-out run earlier this year. “It’s a comedy that leaves a sweet taste in the mouth, with popular songs everyone loves and a strong message,” he enthuses. “Love is something we can all relate to, and the show is basically about the different stages of love. As a man who has been in a relationship with a woman for 18 years, that concept resonated with me.” He’s talking—as anyone who’s ever seen an episode of their self-titled MTV reality show (2011-2015) will know—about Alaska.

The Mexican-born actress and singer shot to fame as one of the founders of La Movida Madrileña—the hedonistic cultural and artistic revolution that started in the late Seventies following Franco’s death. Her irreverent personality and catchy Eighties hits, including ‘A quién le importa’, had already made Alaska a household name in Spain when she met Vaquerizo, who was working as a publicist for her band, Fangoria, in 1999. The couple married soon after, and the whole country was granted a full exploration of their colourful relationship through four seasons of reality TV. Outside of the show, they have remained frequent collaborators over the years, and are co-starring in this month’s musical. Vaquerizo stresses that he never considered himself an actor, so how did they first get involved in the show? “The director, Felix Sabroso, is a friend of ours, and also good friends with Manuel and Bibiana. He suggested that we all come together and do a sporadic thing for five nights or so.” And they’re still going, a year later? “Yes,” he laughs, “because we are just having too much fun.” Was he intimidated by the jump to acting? “At first I was a little scared,” he admits, “because I had to commit to the discipline of working with a script, and playing the part.” Appearing on TV and radio is something that comes naturally because he is just being Mario Vaquerizo, but acting requires a different skill set. “To change myself into a different person, in this case a hippie traveller just back from India who’s totally different from me, was a big challenge.” His love of trying new things eventually won him over, and he hasn’t looked back since. “I actually find theatre acting pretty addictive. It’s not that different from playing a concert, because you have the public there, and the idea of playing live to an audience has always excited me.” While he wouldn’t always consider working with friends on a professional project, in this case everything went smoothly. “I had the luck of going to work with my girl and with my best friends,” he marvels. “It was like the cosmos had put everything in place.” And while it would take the right project, he’d be keen to follow up the experience with more acting. “I’d love to take on another comedy role similar to this, in any medium. I love Netflix, I’d love to do a show on there.” For a busy man so often on television, does he actually get much time to kick back and watch the box himself? “Oh, yes, I love TV, I watch everything,” he laughs. “I’m really not picky when it comes to watching television. All genres are welcome in my house. I watch series, documentaries, telenovelas, programas rosas—things that other people might consider trash—I love it all.” Given his love for comedy and romance, his favourite series might come as a surprise. “Right now, it’s American Horror Story,” he reveals. When I say I’m also a big fan he nodded enthusiastically. “The latest season, Cult, is marvellous.” You mean the twisted satire of Trump-era America in which a sect of killer clowns terrorise the population? “Yes, I think it’s fascinating, anthropologically. It’s about how people in power play with us, how they manipulate us, how political powers find a way to drive people who love each other apart. I think these themes are very current and important to explore.” And dark. “I can be very melodramatic,” he laughs. So would he like to perhaps act in a darker role himself one day? He lets out a jet of air and seems uncertain. “I don’t know, I’m not sure if I have that capacity. I think that you have to be very honest, very humble to be a dramatic actor. But then,” he grins, “if a dramatic theatre director called me and said he wanted me for a role, I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to it.”

El amor sigue en el aire returns to Barcelona’s Teatre Tívoli from December 1st-3rd.


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Carmen Barcelรณ




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Jordi Aguilar and Jhona Ramos


arcelona is usually ahead of the crowd when it comes to all things creative, and the fashion scene is no exception. Young fashion enthusiasts set new ‘street style’ trends, mixing casual clothing with exclusive high fashion brands, such as Gucci and Off-White. They put an emphasis on dressing casually, yet at the same time standing out from the crowd, wearing brands such as Supreme or Comme des Garçons. For this photo essay, I photographed a few self-proclaimed street style models from Barcelona, capturing their looks and finding out what inspires them. Carmen, a fashion student, is inspired by vintage films and art, and mixes old and new trends in her outfits. Pau likes to mix formal and casual clothing. He draws his inspiration from rappers such as Tyler, The Creator. Jordi and Jhona get their inspiration from the internet and American street culture. They both wear relatively pared-back outfits, yet Jhona subtly shows off his Gucci sneakers, as does Jordi with his Supreme AirMax. Instagram: @hrysct

Pau Relats


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eflecting on an unsettling few months in the city, many of us may be feeling slightly anxious, on edge or uncertain about the future. The Christmas period can also quickly turn into one of the most stressful and chaotic times of the year. So, if you’re looking for an escape from the festive madness, or some relief from worries over what lies ahead, here are a few ideas to help you wind down and find a bit of headspace.


The practice of mindfulness helps you enter into a state of mind that is fully engaged in the present moment. You are aware of your thoughts and feelings in a non-judgmental way, without ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. More broadly speaking, it is a general awareness of the world and how you think and act in daily life. The goal is to learn to be truly present, so that when you feel yourself reacting in a certain way, you’re able to replace your instinctive reaction with something more positive. It’s certainly not the easiest thing to master, but when practised regularly, mindfulness can help improve sleep, concentration, focus and memory, encourage better eating habits, decrease anxiety and stress, and even reduce blood glucose levels.

LIVING MINDFULLY Located on Rambla de Catalunya, this centre offers mindfulness courses, workshops and retreats in English, including a one-hour introduction to mindfulness. “The more I work with people the

more I see how they need mindfulness,” explained Jessica Bigogno, founder of Living Mindfully. “People worry a lot about what they read in the news, particularly with the recent political situation in Catalunya and how this will affect whether they will even be able to stay in Barcelona.” This isn’t helped by the pressure and high standards many people hold themselves to. Mindfulness teaches us to step outside of negative thoughts and see them as just that— thoughts that come and go. We can then start to judge ourselves less and be kinder to ourselves. When we do this, “we become freer”, according to Bigogno. “We live less in future worry and past regret and more in the present. In the present, more often than not, we see that we are actually okay.”

MINDFULNESS IN BARCELONA Offering a refreshing take on mindfulness practice, this centre introduces clients to creative and realistic ways to integrate present awareness techniques into their busy schedule. Founder Leigh Matthews, who runs the wellness, mindfulness and gratitude workshops, explained that as a working mother she “struggles to find the time to sit for long periods to engage in formal mindfulness practice”. Instead, alternative approaches, like mindful walks on the school run or intentionally focusing on a podcast, can just as effectively help to combat the chaos. “We won’t ask you to sit for 20-40 minutes a day, but we will offer you unexpected ways to find calm in your busy life,” said Matthews, originally from Australia. Workshops last anywhere from half a day to eight weeks, so there is something for everyone.


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Yoga is an effective way to zone out when life gets stressful, and improve physical strength—strong body, strong mind. Use it as a tool to relax, but also to become more aware of your body and emotions and build resilience to feelings of discomfort.

GET CREATIVE As Picasso once said, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Taking up an artistic pursuit is another way to take your mind off daily struggles and issues and make you mindful of the present moment. It offers a safe place to express emotions and directs that energy towards a positive and rewarding result.

ART THERAPY Exercise is combined with classic yoga at this centre, ideal for those looking for a physical workout. YOGABODY has three modern studios across the city and classes are in English, Spanish and Catalan.

Metafora has two art therapy introduction courses in English: the ‘Summer Intensive’ and the ‘Art & Process’ course. “Being far from home and living in a completely new place can be unsettling, and art therapy can provide a way for you to connect back to your roots and make you feel like yourself,” summarised Carles Ramos, the director and founder of the art therapy programme, who studied Art Therapy at Goldsmiths, London.



YOGABODY An antidote to the cold weather, hot yoga is similar to traditional yoga styles, but is practised at high temperatures (40ºC) to offer a more cardiovascular workout, with a focus on increased flexibility, strength, breathing and alignment. “We have regular classes in English. Most people come to Yogalinda to get away from everyday life, de-stress, practise fast-paced hot vinyasa yoga and sweat,” said Heather Anderson, founder of Yogalinda. “There is nothing else to think of when practising hot yoga other than your present experience, providing distraction from the worried mind.”

YOGA & YOGA BARCELONA This centre offers workshops in yin yoga—a more passive, restorative style of yoga that lets the muscles relax to stimulate the deepest connective tissue of the body (the fascia, tendons, ligaments, bones and joints) by holding positions for longer. All these tissues become more rigid in times of stress and yin yoga rejuvenates them by allowing them to stretch intensely, stimulating the flow of energy to calm the nervous system and aid relaxation.

Club de la Aguja on Via Augusta is not only a patchwork and knitting shop, school and club, but also a place for like-minded people to get together and get creative in a cosy environment. Although it is not technically a club, it holds regular workshops, courses and events in patchwork, scrapbooking, crochet and knitting, with international teachers who all speak English.

CREATIVE WRITING Creative writing is another form of artistic experience that can really benefit your mental state. Writing about your feelings can help manage anxieties and worries and has been linked with self-growth and an increased self-awareness. Writers in Barcelona is an English-speaking creative writing group that meets every other Thursday at 7.30pm in a bar near Universitat metro (locations vary). Members include the odd professional writer, but also many keen amateurs who meet to share their short stories, flash fiction and chapters from novels in progress. Pieces are submitted in advance and are then discussed within the group. Newcomers are encouraged to join but without submitting any work for their first session just so you can get a feel for how the group works. And if this all sounds quite serious don’t worry—there’s plenty of time for drinks and socialising once the meeting concludes.


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Centre Zen Barcelona


Although different, meditation and mindfulness have some overlap. As discussed, mindfulness is being aware of the present: informally as a general awareness of how you live every day, and formally when you intentionally pay attention to the present. Meditation is less specific and is best thought of as a time that you set aside to do something for yourself. Meditation has been around for thousands of years as a tool to connect with the spirit and quieten the chatter of an agitated mind, and comes in countless forms, including loving kindness (metta), moving, walking, music, prayer, contemplation and visualisation. It can be challenging, especially when you first start out, as the mind tends to wander. However, over time we can train the mind to listen to us, stop ruminating and creating anxious thoughts, and become more peaceful.

KADAMPA MEDITATION CENTRE Kadampa practises traditional Buddhist meditation, which teaches you how to access your inner joy, even when experiencing difficulties; your mind will be more open and able to recognise and identify the potential for happiness. A variety of classes are held for both beginners and experienced meditators, as well as special classes for families and children. Guided classes are available in English and there is no need to book ahead.

DOJO ZEN BARCELONA KANNON Dedicated to the practice of Zen—based on regular sitting meditation (zazen)—this centre is open to all, whether you’re taking your first steps into meditation, you’re an experienced meditator looking for a more advanced group session, or you want to commit to a rigorous practice of Zen Buddhism. Dojo Zen also offers free introductory sessions, so you can give it a try before making any commitment.

CENTRE ZEN BARCELONA Centre Zen practises a Buddhist style of meditation. Each session is guided by experts who have been meditating this way for years. As well as daily meditation sessions, a monthly introductory session runs for those who have never practised before. Intensive meditation days and weekend retreats in the countryside also happen on occasion.

SPEAK TO A PROFESSIONAL If you feel that your anxieties are a bit more than just festive chaos, don’t carry the burden alone. Speaking to an expert who is removed from your everyday life can be very beneficial. Professional help can enable you to address specific issues head on and get you back on track for the new year.

HESTÍA This group of therapists is committed to promoting well-being and positive mental health at their clinic on Diagonal. As well as speaking fluent English, the team at Hestía also includes French, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Italian and Portuguese speakers, so language won’t be an issue when it comes to expressing yourself clearly. They are also able to relate to the cultural adjustments that their clients describe and face.

THERAPY IN BARCELONA Native English-speaking therapist Leigh Matthews—who also founded Mindfulness in Barcelona—has over 15 years of experience working with foreign residents in Barcelona, helping them to tackle a range of issues: culture shock, major life adjustments, feeling overwhelmed with the task of building a new life, anxiety, work stress, career uncertainty and relationship issues. “It’s quite common, and sensible, for expats to reach out for professional assistance given the isolation that comes with living abroad, and the absence of family and well-established friends to talk to,” said Matthews. “The first step of reaching out for help is often the hardest, but I find clients are pleasantly surprised and relieved that support can make a big difference.”

BARCELONA NEST The Network of English-Speaking Therapists (NEST) enables you to search for therapists across the city, listed under four key disciplines: psychology, psychotherapy, psychiatry and mediation. Profiles of each therapist and their specialities are listed on the website, so you can browse and find the right person to fit your needs and contact them directly.


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startup of the month


CEO JOAN BARDELETTI, 41, FRANCE Draagu is a mobile app that allows anyone around the world to sell photos taken with their smartphone. The app uses artificial intelligence and image recognition to spot a match between a company’s request for a specific image and images in a user’s phone. If a match is made, an alert is triggered and you’re asked to pick the photo you’d like to sell. We created Draagu to help democratise image selling. Around three billion photos are taken every day, most of them with smartphones, but only 0.3 percent of them are on sale. Why? Because of the hassle associated with uploading, tagging and submitting photos to traditional image stocks. That’s where Draagu comes in: it’s an easy to use tool that helps make photos accessible for sale. Your images are never published, it’s only the final image you submit that becomes visible to the company. We also want to provide remote communities in Asia, Africa and South America with a new means of creating additional income. We pay between €5-€50 for each photo and half of the payments we’re issuing right now go to developing countries that are not well covered by traditional image stocks. Our app is not really for big cities, which are already well documented. We work with a lot of tourist and media companies, as well as nongovernmental organisations (NGOs). With Draagu, tourist companies can source images of hotels or travel experiences from real clients. Development institutions and NGOs can use it to get images from the field they’re working

in, and in turn use them to show the impact of their work in advocacy and fundraising campaigns. We’re also increasingly working with media companies, as the app allows them to reach out for images taken directly by their readers. I’ve been a professional photographer for over 10 years, and the cofounder Maxime is an engineer and photographer, so between us we’ve got both the engineering background as well as a passion for photography. We saw how the job market for photographers was changing and how it’s not always viable to send a professional photographer across the world to take photos of, let’s say, a street. However, there are lots of people with smartphones in their pockets that could take those photos for you. We launched Draagu in June. We’ve since reached 42 countries and have 220,000 available images, and we’re growing by 25,000 images per week. We’ve currently got six companies working with us and we’re in talks with 10 other large corporations. The goal is to reach one million images by the end of the year and 100 million images by the end of next year. We’re also working on launching the app for iOS, as it’s currently Android-only. Barcelona is the perfect place to create a company like Draagu. It’s a big hub for the tech industry in Europe, there are lots of talented people, we’ve got a great quality of life, and salaries aren’t as high as in Berlin or Dublin. If I hadn’t come to Barcelona, I might not have launched Draagu.




Mobile World Centre. Dec 14th. Toby Oliver, CTO of Typeform, joins this month’s Grind to share his insights on attracting investors and growing your company. His previous roles include working for companies such as Path Intelligence and JP Morgan, where he developed new and innovative technologies. As keynote speaker, Oliver will provide invaluable information for startups, which will be followed by a fireside chat and networking.

Barcelona Code School. Dec 16th-17th. This weekend course aims to help entrepreneurs promote their business and increase their online presence through building a modern and responsive website. Taking place over two mornings, the course includes theoretical discussions on responsiveness, and guides students through various platforms, such as CSS native Flexbox layout, Bootstrap, Chrome Dev Tools and GitHub.

Grand Hotel Central. Dec 12th. The Barcelona division of the Professional Women’s Network global community meet every second Tuesday of the month to network and build entrepreneurial connections. The organisation promotes gender equality in leadership, hoping to inspire change around the world. The event lasts two hours, and is free to attend. Guests are advised to bring their business cards along with them.


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he 21st-century job market is all about flexibility, both for employer and employee. In a world of constant change, being able to adapt to new circumstances and evolve your skills are amongst the most useful attributes you can have. In recent years, Barcelona has transformed into a hub for startups and industrial innovation, and it was ranked among the top 20 cities for global competitiveness in 2016. The highly competitive climate of Barcelona’s job market means setting yourself apart from the rest is essential if you want to get noticed by employers. Here are four ways that you can boost your employability and help secure the job you want.






PARLES CATALÀ? It might seem obvious, but learning Catalan can give you a competitive advantage. While the ability to speak more than one language is attractive for many reasons, legal paperwork and platforms here are usually in Catalan, not to mention workshops, seminars and conferences. Many foreign residents speak Spanish, but fewer are fluent in Catalan. Having a basic command of the language will set you apart from others, and will also tell potential employers that you intend to stick around. Learning Catalan is also cost effective, as many institutes offer free Catalan courses. The Consorci per a la Normalització Lingüistica—a consortium of public entities in Catalunya that aims to disseminate the language—provides free classes for beginners (, or for those wanting to perfect their professional use of the language, Barcelona Activa offers free Catalan business courses (

Barcelona is one of the leading smart cities in Europe, playing host to several international events, such as the Mobile World Congress and Smart City Expo World Congress, and is generally recognised as an epicentre of technological innovation. To maintain its status and continue moving forward, the Ajuntament is offering various courses to help bring citizens into the digital era. From web creation and IT problem-solving, to online marketing and mastering multimedia, Barcelona Activa’s Cibernàrium is a training programme for professionals that encompasses a broad range of activities. Other specialised skills, such as coding, can be an impressive addition to your CV. Bootcamps at academies such as Ubiqum Code Academy and Barcelona Code School promise to deliver you from beginner to pro in a short space of time. Investing in yourself with a course or training programme will give you an edge over others and your new skills may just lead your career in a completely different direction.

‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, and there’s probably nowhere that the age-old expression rings more true than here. Networking is widely recommended by recruiters, and friendly, word-of-mouth promotions are often a point of entry for job interviews. But beyond broadening your contacts and getting to know the right people, networking can be a great way to get up to speed on the industry. Receiving insider info on current trends and challenges can be invaluable for those wanting to transition from one industry to another, demonstrating to potential employers that you have done your homework and know what you’re talking about. Networking has become an integral part of


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An informal monthly networking event for international professionals living in the city.

BARCELONA TOASTMASTERS CLUB A community focused on improving public speaking skills, hosting bi-weekly sessions and participating in social and cultural events. Barcelona’s culture, with well-established, active networking communities and a choice of meetups, ranging from general to specialised interests.


BUILD YOUR BRAND Although the concept of personal branding has been around for centuries, the social media revolution has popularised it over the past decade. Forbes describes personal branding as a leadership requirement, and something that is becoming increasingly important for taking the next step in your career. It requires identifying your strengths and your unique selling points (USPs). Taking the time to consider what you can bring to a company allows you to tailor your application and increases your chances of landing the job. Whether it be specific talents and expertise, or creative thinking, make sure you showcase your USPs when writing your CV and cover letters, and when answering interview questions. Writing a blog or proactively managing your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter accounts can be a great resource to reference during interviews, or can even attract new job offers. It’s important to remember that personal branding goes beyond cyberspace, and is about projecting a strong, consistent brand at all times. Make sure you always exhibit your unique brand during events, network and community meetups, and when applying for jobs and attending interviews. There are several personal branding courses available, such as Foment Formació’s 30-hour course (, or why not book an appointment with a personal branding coach. Step Up with V ( offers tailored courses for both career coaching and personal branding.

BARCELONA WOMEN’S NETWORK This non-profit organisation is based on providing friendship and support to professional women in the city.

THE BUSINESS LUNCH Make business connections over lunch at this event for professional English-speaking expats.

CLUB MARKETING BARCELONA This association hosts several networking events that aim to promote Barcelona as a hub for marketing.

AMERICAN SOCIETY OF BARCELONA Join ASB at their monthly happy hour event that gathers members of the city’s American community.

MEETUP Create your own networking meetup, or find many other diverse and specialised events among its online communities.

PWN BARCELONA Part of a global network of women that focuses on promoting gender balanced leadership, mentoring and various networking events.


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Zuz was born in the Czech Republic, but has lived and studied in several different countries. She joined GetApp in 2014 when it was a fresh startup. The company was acquired by American firm Gartner in 2015 and the journey since then has been quite incredible. Previously, Zuz worked in sales in the oil and gas industry in Norway and managed a small web and software development agency in London.

A DAY IN THE LIFE ZUZANA KUDELOVA, CZECH REPUBLIC, VP NEW BUSINESS AND GROWTH AT GETAPP 7.30AM I start every weekday morning with a short HIIT exercise followed by a few yoga stretches—this fuels my day. I attempt to have a cold shower to help build up my immune system but this is really hard for me; nothing that happens during my day can be quite as bad. I check my inbox and deal with anything urgent: the business spans across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, but the extended team is in the US. I don’t eat because I am doing intermittent fasting, but I refill my water bottle and set off for the office. I drive there, so I’ll indulge in an hour of podcasts. 9.30AM I reach the office and go back to my inbox to set priorities, see if I need to pull any data, get tech resources or set any other tasks in motion so that I can have them ready for the afternoon. I have one-to-one meetings with my team and tackle any questions they might have or brainstorm solutions to clients’ problems. 1PM I break for lunch, run errands and walk as much as I can. I have a stand-up desk but I sit for several hours in meeting rooms during the day. I devour a delicious salad with some berries. 2PM I get through as many client-facing calls as I can so that I don’t lose touch with our customers and can keep providing valid advice to my team and input on our product. I run through a couple of strategic meetings with colleagues in the

US, discussing backend developments, product improvements and sales. I check a few data points to make sure sales and current customers are on track. I review my priorities for this week and re-prioritise if necessary. I spend a few minutes browsing on LinkedIn looking for great talent to join us at GetApp. 7.30PM I buy some organic groceries and drive home. I catch up with family and friends spread over different time zones on the phone. Some nights, I pop out for dinner with a friend in the city centre. 8.30PM I go home and try to squeeze in a power walk, ideally with my partner. If it’s my partner’s turn to prepare dinner, I hang out and spend a few minutes practising piano and slowing down. We eat together and catch up on our ‘projects’. We recently relocated to a house that we’re renovating, and started a tiny farm with some chickens, so we are acquiring new skills and learning a lot about animals and permaculture. 11PM I browse through tech news and check my inbox one last time to see if anyone from the US team needs help, since they are still at work. 11.30PM Lights out. I run through a gratitude exercise in my head to finish the day.


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es Guilleries, the ‘land of foxes’, lies to the east of Vic, an hour and a half’s drive from Barcelona. It’s a landscape of steep granite and limestone bluffs, where the rivers Ter and Onyar begin their snaking passage to the sea, past the curving hilltop apses of Romanesque churches and holm oak forests. On the lofty meadows to the north of Les Guilleries are the pristine mountain villages of Tavertet and Rupit, en-route to the volcanic hills of La Garrotxa. To the south a blanket of forest spreads towards the Montseny massif. There are numerous joys to be found trekking in these hills: the pink sugar-loaf mountains known as the Cingles de Tavertet, with their vertiginous miradors, the beech woods surrounding Rupit, or the waterfalls of Molí Bernat and Sallent.


We begin our exploration at the Sau Reservoir, where a curious sight greets you as you approach the clay-red banks of the reservoir at Vilanova de Sau. A submerged church steeple peeks out of the middle of the water. This campanario is all that remains of the humble hamlet of Sant Romà, destined to become a miniature Atlantis when the Sau dam was erected in the Sixties, flooding the valley with water. When the water recedes far enough, the entire church-tower is revealed. On an exposed crag at the other, western edge of the Sau Reservoir is an ancient monastery in a remarkable state of preservation. This is the Monastery of Sant Pere de Casseres, one of the finest Romanesque buildings of its kind in the Province of Barcelona. Sant Pere is the subject of a curious founding legend. In the 11th century, a boy with a surprising gift was born to the viscount of Osona. Within three days of his birth, this boy could speak like an adult. The infant also had an unusual gift for prophecy, predicting he would die when only 30 days old. He requested his remains be placed in a chest and carried forth on an untethered mule; wherever the mule came to rest a monastery should be built, in honour of Saint Peter. The prophecy came true, and the viscount dutifully carried out his son’s request, establishing the monastery of Sant Pere where the donkey had come to rest, on a narrow isthmus overlooking the Ter basin. Centuries later, in 1560, Bishop Segimon of Vic visited the remote monastery. He found an impressive building in grave disrepair, much damaged by an earthquake during the previous century. It was inhabited by 12 monks living in abysmal conditions. The monks told Segimon the story of the talking infant and showed him to a small chest which appeared to contain its mummified remains, as well as what were claimed to be the hands of the infant’s mother.


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The stone-built village of Rupit, one of Catalunya’s finest medieval pobles

Today, the chest and its contents, whatever their real origin, are no more; they were stolen in the Sixties. But, thanks to careful restoration, the monastery is much improved compared to when Bishop Segimon visited over five centuries ago. The gracefully austere nave and cloister are highlights, while through each arched window, the obscure theatre of nature drives home a deep sense of the monks’ seclusion. The monastery boasts a good restaurant serving an affordable menú del día, which will quickly remedy any sense of abstemious peregrination.

WHERE TO STAY The Parador de Vic Sau ( is only a couple of minutes’ drive from Sant Pere de Casseres, with rooms overlooking the reservoir. Prices for a double start at €82.


At the top of a bouldered precipice high above the Sau Reservoir, Tavertet is famous for its miradors—a series of toe-curling lookout points. In autumn and winter, the views over Les Guilleries can be particularly spellbinding as rising mist pushes up over Tavertet’s cingles (escarpments) from the reservoir, enveloping the village and its Romanesque church of Sant Cristófol. A short stroll from the village’s cobbled streets is the Mirador de Tavertet, one of several natural watchtowers peeking over the plunging rockface, with Montseny looming on the southern horizon. For a more taxing (but still relatively easy) walk from Tavertet, a good option is the two-hour circular hike to the Salt de Molí Bernat, a lofty waterfall. Head west towards the medieval bridge of Molí Bernat. From here, it’s a relatively level jaunt past centuries-old oaks and through natural tunnels in the cliffs to the waterfall.



A good way to explore the Sau Reservoir, and get a bit closer to the spire of the sunken church of Sant Romà, is by hiring a kayak. At Mosen Park (, which has its headquarters close to Vilanova de Sau on the eastern shore, prices start at €15 for an hour’s hire. It also offers four wakeboarding experiences, starting at €30. Meanwhile at the neighbouring Aquaterraclub (, full-day kayaking trips are offered for around €85 a head. If, instead of kayaking or wakeboarding you prefer doing a spot of good oldfashioned wild swimming, head to the beach near the children’s adventure camp, Casa Colònies Mateu, also on the eastern shore.


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Above: Breathtaking views can be enjoyed all the way along the craggy precipice Right: Salt de Sallent; Wooden bridge over the River Ter


Situated north-east of Tavertet, on the road to La Garrotxa, is one of Catalunya’s finest medieval pobles (villages). Up here, surrounded by beech woods on the hillside of a forked valley above the Susqueda Reservoir, things begin to look positively Pyrenean, with mountain villas of bare stone and wooden balconies flush with bright flowers. Access to Rupit is via a hanging wooden bridge spanning a confluence of the River Ter. It’s a dramatic approach, as one looks up at the houses hanging from a rocky promontory. Inside the labyrinth of tile and stone, a series of small, charming squares lead up to the Baroque church of Sant Miquel and a tumbledown 10th-century castle. Like Tavertet, Rupit is an excellent base for walking. A classic route is the half-hour (occasionally, muddy) jaunt to Salt de Sallent, an 80-metre-high waterfall plunging into a forest-filled gorge. From there it’s possible to continue on a two-hour circular route that skirts past the 12th-century hermitage of Sant Joan de Fàbregas, the finest of its kind in the county.

WHERE TO STAY Rupit is probably the best-equipped town in the area for accommodation. A solid option is Hostal Estrella (hostalestrella. com), which overlooks the central Plaça Bisbe. Prices begin at €110 for a double. Hostal Estrella also has one of the best restaurants in the area, serving traditional local cuisine at a decent rate. GETTING TO LES GUILLERIES You’ll need a car to explore this area. If you’re staying at the Parador de Vic Sau, take the C-25 east from Vic, turn north onto the C153 and exit immediately onto the BV-1253, which takes you the rest of the way. It’s one hour and twenty minutes from Barcelona. If heading direct to Rupit, which is 20 minutes further, continue on the C153 from Vic and turn off onto the BV-5208.


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Educating Since 1968 OUR AIM Our goal is to create a stimulating environment in which every student can develop their academic and personal potential. We have great expectations and we are committed to achieve every student’s academic and personal success.

OUR DIFFERENCE In Santa Clara International School, we keep in mind that we are educating a unique human being who has the right to be educated in a singular way.

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The best medical care wherever you are THE SOLUTION FOR NON-RESIDENTS IN SPAIN






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SANITAS SANT GERVASI C/ Madrazo 72 - Barcelona 934 192 784 / 934 143 069 684 220 335

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© Maria Rosa Ferre



© Ferran Pestaña



hen, in 1890, industrialist and patron of the arts Eusebi Güell decided to move his textile mill away from the social unrest of Barcelona, he commissioned Antoni Gaudí to design Colonia Güell, a purpose-built industrial colony in Santa Coloma de Cervelló, 23km south-west of the city. Unlike many large business owners of the time, Güell was a compassionate employer dedicated to improving the working conditions of his many employees. As well as furnishing the colony with terraced housing, gardens, a school and shops, he enlisted the expertise of some of the leading Modernista architects of the time to enhance the aesthetic of the village. The result was a spacious village with many beautiful facades and details, including one of Gaudí’s lesser-known masterpieces.

THE CRYPT Gaudí was charged with designing the centrepiece of the new village, its church. After 10 years of meticulous planning, the construction of the ambitious project began in 1899. With leaning pillars, centenary arches and a verisimilitude to nature, the building’s aesthetic incorporates much of the architectural innovation synonymous with the architect’s more famous projects. The plans combined aspects of traditional religious architecture with the idiosyncrasies of Gaudí’s creative genius; plans consisted of an upper and lower nave, a 40-metre-high belfry and trencadís mosaic tiling in the colours of the surrounding vegetation. However, the original plans remained unfinished. After the completion of the lower nave in 1914, the Güell family decided to stop funding the church. One year later, the nave was consecrated by the Bishop of Barcelona, and the church became popularly known as the Crypt.

UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE The Güell family sold the mill to the Bertrand i Serra family in 1945, but it didn’t cease production until 1973. In subsequent years, residents of the colony bought their properties, and public institutions took over the facilities and land. In 1990, Colonia Güell was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. Local architects have since worked to refurbish many of the village’s buildings and complete the Crypt, which, although commonly argued to have detracted from its authenticity, has made the colony more visitor-friendly.

VISITING COLONIA GÜELL As well as seeing the Crypt, it’s worth wandering around the surrounding streets and squares, which retain their Modernista charm. Entrance to Colonia Güell costs between €7 and €11.50, with the latter including a guided tour (Saturdays at 12pm in Spanish, Sundays at 12pm in Catalan). Winter opening hours are 10am-5pm Monday to Friday, and 10am-3pm at the weekend. Advance booking recommended.

GETTING THERE Take the S33, S8 or S4 FGC train from Plaça Espanya to Colonia Güell (20 minutes). Once there, cross the road and follow the blue signs towards the entrance.


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ediamanga, the most recent venture of Iván Castro and Manel Arjó of the popular Mont Bar, opened in spring this year at the intersection of Aribau and Diputació. Chef Domenico Ungaro’s cooking has a clear direction: great ingredients prepared traditionally, but with a little twist—an added ingredient or technique—that elevates the food to the level expected of a trendy city centre restaurant. Ungaro excels at this gastronomic goosing, taking a dish like roasted wild mushrooms with garlic (rovellons al ajillo) and giving it his own slant. The result was a heavy stone and copper crock of red pine mushrooms bathed in a salsa Americana of fish broth, garlic, oil, guindilla chilli, tomato, prawn heads and brandy. The dish was a bit strange, but certainly wasn’t lacking in creativity nor flavour, and it ended up being one of the most memorable of the evening. Sadly, though, the taste and delicate texture of the thin sheets of pancetta laid across the top of the mushrooms was lost amidst the competing flavours of this potent dish, a trend that continued throughout the meal. The meal began with oyster carbonara—a pair of raw, briny oysters (delicious on their own), topped with egg yolk, bacon and grated Parmesan cheese. I tasted the oyster, I tasted the cheese, but the yolk was really just texture and I would have thought the bacon was missing if I hadn’t spotted it as I prepared to slurp the lot down in a single mouthful. The tuna tartar with aubergine— cubes of raw Atlantic bluefin tuna, dressed in a light mayonnaise with chives, guindilla chillis and spicy Japanese radish—tasted predominantly of the smoky aubergine bed on which the tartar lay. Similarly, the pillowy pile of shaved foie gras micuit atop a vibrant carpaccio of figs with pistachios looked delicious, but was completely overpowered by the jammy fig flavour. Seated at a high, two-person table practically inside the kitchen, I really enjoyed the up-close view of the team of chefs carefully slicing, grating, saucing and plating the cold starters. Just a few steps away, the chef and sous finished each dish while a team of three cooks worked the hot line, nearly back-to-back.


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Photos courtesy of Mediamanga


Aribau 13 T. 93 832 5694 ✪✪✪


The restaurant space is relatively small, with a handful of high tables, a bar and a section with a couple of low tables that can seat four and eight guests, respectively. The interior design is Art Deco-inspired with a bit of Art Nouveau thrown in, and everything from the copper cookware to the elliptical wooden trim and jade stone countertops feel brilliantly planned down to the smallest details. After the oysters, came a burrata salad drizzled with pesto, dotted with toasted pine nuts, and topped with paper-thin slices of raw porcini mushrooms (ceps). The burrata was rich and creamy, as any good burrata should be, and the mushrooms lent a subtle earthy flavour, though I wished for a bit of seasoning, pickling or searing to turn up the mushroom flavour another notch. My favourite dish of the night, and the one for which I would return to Mediamanga, was the red mullet with mini vegetables—a perfectly seared fillet of red mullet (salmonete) with a slight crisp to the skin, dotted with brunoise peppers, courgette and carrots, and leaned across a basil lemon potato parmentier. A sweet and citric apricot emulsion served as a foil to the savoury potato purée, and the finishing sauce, a reduced jus of chicken stock infused with red mullet bones, added a lovely richness, resulting in a plate with both balance and finesse. Beetroot cheesecake served inside of a hollowed out beetroot (stem, leaves and all), balanced on a bed of chocolate ‘soil’ and topped with a sweet beetroot confiture and beetroot sorbet, offered a not-too-sweet, ideal end to a worthwhile meal with highs and lows. On several occasions throughout the meal, plates arrived with ingredients meant to lend flavour and complexity to a dish that were either completely lost or outshone the main ingredient. All in all, however, my dinner at Mediamanga was enjoyable, and I understand why it has become so highly regarded. The menu shifts with the seasons and I would happily return to discover what springtime has in store.


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T. 93 855 2304 Passatge Mercantil 1 Open every day 1pm-11.30pm


he vibrant and bold interior design by Clara Arnús and the fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine by chefs Juan Otivo and Kyoko Li, work in perfect harmony at Big Kokka, the newest venture by the popular Barcelona restaurant group Grupo San Telmo. Located in the still-lavish setting of the former Big Fish restaurant, Big Kokka’s name serves as a homage to its predecessor, as well as an indicator that this is the fully-grown version of Kokka, Grupo San Telmo’s Japanese-Peruvian bar located in the basement of Restaurante Palo Santo on Carrer d’Avinyó. The food at Big Kokka is Nikkei cuisine in the true sense of the word. This isn’t merely a menu with a selection of sushi and ceviche; chefs Otivo and Li combine the techniques, ingredients and flavour of their homelands all within the same dish—the essence of Nikkei cooking. The charred edamame served with grilled choclo corn is a perfect, finger-licking starter, as is the chicken causa, a traditional potato purée with yellow chilli and lime, topped with braised chicken and huacatay, a potent herb also

known as Peruvian black mint. The menu features eight different nigiris—both traditional and Nikkei-style—as well as stir-fried noodles and rice, uramakis, and a selection from the raw bar (don’t miss the ‘Nikkei Oyster’ with yuzu vinaigrette, chilli and coriander). The more substantial plates are cooked on the traditional robata-style Japanese grill, such as the melt-in-your-mouth aubergine with yellow miso and bonito flakes, and the succulent Wagyu beef served with Andean mustards. At Big Kokka, the pisco sours flow freely in both their classic form and in modern interpretations such as the ‘Big Kokka Pisco’, made with lemongrass, tonka beans and Sichuan peppercorns. Worldrenowned, award-winning mixologist Manel Vehí has crafted a list of 10 signature cocktails for Big Kokka, designed to complement the bold flavours of Nikkei fusion. The midday menu at Big Kokka is €16 and offers a choice of some of their most popular starters and the option of four main courses; either the meat or fish of the day grilled on the robata, the uramaki roll of the day, or an assortment of nigiris and makis (€6 supplement).


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food tales

Every great local food business has a story, that’s what makes them unique. Foodie tour guide Misty Barker explores some of Barcelona’s tastiest hidden gems.



ho doesn’t love a good sweet shop? La Colmena is one of the oldest and most beautiful in Barcelona, with handcrafted treats that will delight the inner child in all of us. Located in Plaça de l’Àngel, the exact date that it was founded is a bit of a local mystery, although it is thought to be the collaboration of two sweet shops dating back to 1849. The current shop was opened by Josep and Francesc Roig Manubens in 1927, and is now run by their grandson, Josep Maria Roig. A plaque lies in the footpath outside the shop that identifies La Colmena as one of Barcelona’s most emblematic establishments. These plaques honour the city’s few remaining historical businesses and, whenever you see one, always signify that you have stumbled upon something special. The people serving behind the counter have worked there for more than 100 years combined. From rows of freshly made bocadillos, to pastries that make your blood pressure rise just by looking at them, you’ll be truly spoiled for choice. While the cakes and bakes are all delicious, however, it’s the sweets that draw the crowds here. Following its century-old, original recipe, the bolado is La Colmena’s signature hard-boiled sweet, made to a level of perfection rarely seen these days. Wrapped in paper, they come in curious and well-known flavours: fennel (hinojo), pomegranate (granada), toffee (caramelo), my personal favourite, honey (miel), and more. The flavours are so precise it’s incredible. Not into hard boiled varieties? Fear not! Displays of hundreds of homemade chocolates, truffles and meringues fill the corners of the store. Behind the counters, tins of artisan biscuits and cookies are crying out to be bought and devoured. And if you’re looking to buy some edible Christmas gifts for friends and family, this is the place to go. After all, the holidays just aren’t the same without a good oldfashioned sugar rush.


Plaça de l’Àngel 12 Mon-Sun 9am-9pm

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HARISSA SPICED CAULIFLOWER and chickpea salad (serves 4-6) By Tara Stevens


ou can get too much of a good thing: it's called Christmas, and it can seem interminable. It starts right after Halloween and goes on, and on, and on until the Epiphany on January 6th, by which time, if you are anything like me, you're losing the will to live. This is not to be ‘bah humbug’ about the whole thing—I enjoy Christmas—but the relentless eating and drinking and merrymaking can make you feel somewhat desperate for something a bit more Zen. Enter the winter salad that is not only vegetarian, but also vegan, which is sure to please the clean eaters. It is welcome this time of year for even the most hardened carnivores; sturdy enough to serve as a main course and comforting enough to eat on its own from a bowl in front of the telly.

INGREDIENTS 1 large head of cauliflower, split into florets 1 large onion, cut in half then sliced 1 tbsp harissa paste 1 tbsp coriander paste 1 tbsp runny honey 2 tsp ground cumin 250g cooked chickpeas

1 head of escarole, washed, roughly chopped Handful of fresh basil, coriander or parsley (as preferred) Handful of pomegranate seeds Olive oil Salt and pepper



METHOD 1. To make the coriander paste, simply blitz a bunch of wellwashed, fresh coriander, stalks and all, in a blender with a pinch of salt and enough olive oil to make a thick paste. Put it in a jar. This will last in the fridge for several weeks and is a useful base for curries as well as this dish. 2. Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC. 3. Toss the cauliflower, onions, harissa, coriander paste, honey, cumin, salt and pepper on a tray with a good glug of olive oil. 4. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, then add the chickpeas and toss together. Return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes. 5. Remove from the oven when the cauliflower is golden and singed at the edges. 6. Toss everything together with the escarole leaves, fresh basil, coriander or parsley. 7. Drizzle over any juices from the roasting pan. 8. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a scattering of pomegranate seeds.

Tara Stevens is a food writer and cook who splits her time between Barcelona and her cooking school, the Courtyard Kitchen, in the Fez Medina. Passionate about Spanish and Moroccan cuisine, she takes traditional recipes and gives them a modern makeover using local and seasonal ingredients. Follow Tara on Instagram @courtyardkitchenfez and Twitter @taralstevens.


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& IN

ÁNDELE - EIXAMPLE Part of the Ándele Group, this new, modern restaurant in Barcelona’s Eixample district offers an authentic, traditional Mexican cuisine. It combines traditional recipes with new, continuing to surprise and delight diners, whilst ensuring high quality ingredients for every dish. The restaurant also features an attractive bar, where you can enjoy a full selection of tequilas, mescals and various premium distillates used to create delicious cocktails. Average menu price 20 and lunch menu available from 12.90.


under 20 | 20-30 | 30-40 | over 40  food&drink visit our online directory

París 147. 08036 Tel. 93 277 8766 | Mon-Sun 1pm-4pm, 8pm-12am

To advertise in this section call: 93 451 4486 or email:



Authentic Peruvian recipes with cuttingedge cuisine awaits diners at Totora. The restaurant offers a gastronomical journey of Peru with classics such as cebiche, ají de gallina (spicy chicken stew), and the lomo saltado (sautéed beef tenderloin), alongside new, creative dishes concocted by head chef Pablo Ortega. Diners can enjoy Ortega’s menu, infused with tastes of the sea, or can linger at the restaurant’s long bar to enjoy bartenders cultivate tasty cocktails, including the Peruvian classic, pisco sour. Menu of the day available from 17.50.

Located on a quaint side street close to the convent of Sant Agusti in El Born, Meneghina offers an exciting and innovative combination of Italian and Catalan flavours, tempting desserts and an extensive selection of wines in a relaxed atmosphere. The menu features fresh seasonal produce, which changes on a daily basis.

Tiradors 2 I T. 93 119 2221 I Tues-Sun 1pm-3.30pm, Tues-Sat 8.30pm-11.30pm

Còrsega 235, 08036 Tel. 93 667 4372 Mon-Sun 1pm-3.30pm, 8pm-11.30pm

CAFÉ MENSSANA4CIUTAT VELLA At Menssana, a creative and healthy cuisine is combined with gracious and knowledgeable service. There is something for everyone, with vegan and vegetarian options, created using flavours from across the globe. They also offer a carefully selected range of local wines and beers, as well as smoothies and fresh juices. Their aim is to nourish your body and mind with delicious meals, served in a vibrant and friendly atmosphere. Sardenya 48, 08005 Tel. 93 624 3505 Mon-Sat 9am-12am Sun 9am-6pm

FONDA ESPAÑA4 BARRI GÒTIC Located in the emblematic Hotel España, the Modernist dining room, designed and decorated by Domènech i Montaner, houses Fonda España. Rich in patrimonial interest, the historic elements in this beautiful room inspire and enhance the new elements. Here, Gastronomic Director Martín Berasategui’s aim is to offer his well-known culinary concept to diners looking for simple, balanced and delicious dishes that are a tribute to the renowned chef’s origins.

Sant Pau 9-11 I Metro Liceu Tel. 93 550 0000 Mon-Sat 1pm-4pm and 8pm-11pm Sun 1pm-4pm

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BLACKLAB BREWERY4 BARCELONETA Blacklab have a huge range of American Style craft beers made on premises with a Minnesotan brewer. They experiment with their brews like a beer lab. They have four beers all year around, 16 rotating seasonals. Their beer is poured directly from the tanks and you won’t find anything fresher. Their kitchen is non stop and doesn’t close during opening hrs. They serve tasty American Food with Asian touch. Beer tour and beer tasting with their brewers every Sunday at 17h. Also available for big groups at any day.

Palau de Mar, Plaça Pau Vila 1, 08039 Tel. 93 22 18 360

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This well-kept secret is located in the basement of Casa Camper Hotel, where jazz, culture and billiard lovers can relax and enjoy an exclusive cocktail. This club offers a programme of cultural and music events for the most creative public. It is the ideal space for escaping the crowds or hosting business clients.

Mannà Gelats offers homemade ice creams, waffles and crêpes in the heart of the Barrio Gótico. Their ice creams are inspired by family recipes, using the finest products. The fresh fruit sorbets are made with market-bought products, and boast a range of exotic varieties. Their passion is to please their customers with personalised attention.

Elisabets 11 | Metro Liceu Tel. 93 342 6280 Tues-Thurs 4pm-12am Fri-Sat 4pm-2am

Banys Nous 22 | Metro Liceu Tel. 93 342 7312 Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm Fri-Sat 11am-11pm

Indian / Tandoori BAR CENTRO4 EIXAMPLE


Bar Centro offers a unique experience when you indulge in one of their burgers. 40-day aged beef of Galician ‘Vaca Vieja’ cooked on the grill is a must-try. Eight craft beer taps go hand in hand with their gastronomic proposal. Don’t miss all four versions of their pulled pork, the homemade nachos, the chilli or the bravas! Everything is handcrafted.

Specialists in Tandoori. Typical halaal with high quality dishes. See the chefs prepare and cook your food ,which is all made with fresh ingredients. Boasting a Bollywood musical ambience, Nice Spice is an excellent choice for traditional indian food in Barcelona.

Casp 55. 08010 Metro Tetuan/ Urquinaona Tel. 93 192 5255 Mon-Wed 1pm-11pm Thurs-Fri 1pm-11.30pm Sat 8pm-12am

Pujades 207 | Metro Poblenou Tel. 93 308 9548 Open everday 12pm-4pm, 8pm-12pm


D9 BAR4 POBLENOU Whether you are an Erasmus student, a football fanatic or a music lover, D9 Bar has a night for you. Equipped with a terrace, D9 offers a wide range of tapas, beers, cocktails and shots for every night of the week. With American Day on Wednesdays, Erasmus parties on Thursdays and music-themed parties on Fridays and Saturdays, there is always something for everyone.

Pallars 122, 08016 Tel. 93 309 9202 I Sun-Thurs 6pm-2.30am Fri-Sat 6pm-3am

BE MY BAGEL4GRÀCIA Do you dream of great bagels? Then Be My Bagel is the right place for you. They sell authentic bagels from Barcelona, just how you like them. Offering an extensive range of bagels and cakes—from the more classic choices such as poppy and multigrain to delicious and innovative chocolate, almond and coconut bagels—you won’t come away disappointed.

Britta’s Nordic Deli is the first and only Scandinavian deli in Barcelona. Here you’ll find the most delicious sandwiches and smørrebrød in town. Moreover, they offer all kinds of specialities to take away from a wide charcuterie, including smoked and marinated wild salmon, hot smoked salmon, marinated herring, homemade salads, smoked deer, organic cheeses, Danish seaweed caviar and a lot more. Bonavista 29 | Tel. 93 461 7362 | Mon 5-9pm, Tues-Fri 11.30am-3.30pm and 5pm-9pm, Sat 11.30am-3.30pm, Sun closed |

Delivery FOODIES BARCELONA4POBLENOU Foodies Barcelona is an online restaurant that prepares wholesome and fresh meals, delivering to your office, business or party. Whether you want a healthy lunch for a meeting or daily catering, they’ve got you covered. Order online or contact them for a menu. Sant Joan de Malta 131 | Tel. 93 266 4271 Mon-Fri 8am-11am |

Vegetarian/Vegan GOVINDA (VEGETARIAN)4BARRI GÒTIC Founded over 30 years ago, Govinda continues to thrive on a blend of experience and fresh innovation with its vegetarian Indian cuisine. The international menu features thalis, a salad bar, natural juices, lassis, pizzas and crêpes. Govinda offers a vegan-friendly, non-alcoholic and authentically-decorated environment with lunch and weekend menus. Plaça Vila de Madrid 4-5 | Metro Catalunya | Tel. 93 318 7729 Tues-Sat 1pm-4pm and 8pm-11.30pm, Sun-Mon 1pm-4pm |


Planeta 37 (Pl. del Sol) | Metro Fontana or Gràcia Tel. 93 518 7151 I Mon-Fri 9.30am-2pm and 5pm-8.30pm Sat 10am-2.30pm and 6pm-10pm Sun 10.30am-2pm

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A warm and welcoming environment allows you to fully enjoy a tasty and healthier alternative to your everyday meal. Dishes include cereals, pulses and vegetables and homemade puddings. The cuisine is creatively international with care taken to ensure that each meal is well-balanced and made with the freshest ingredients. Their menu of the day costs 10.90, while their night and weekend menus cost 15.80. Diputació 164 | Metro Urgell | Tel. 93 454 8613 Mon-Sat 1pm-4pm and 8pm-11pm, Sun closed |

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Loidi is a contemporary bistro, in which Martin Berasategui makes his cuisine accessible to everybody. Prepared with the finest seasonal ingredients, his cuisine is presented with an imagination that recalls and pays homage to the celebrated Basque chef’s traditional roots and origins. The menu features various dining options with dishes that change on a weekly basis. The restaurant is a very contemporary, warm and comfortable space frequented by a local and professional clientele. Head chef: Jordi Asensio. Maître d’: Oscar Fernández.

Tap de Suro is an intimate place dedicated entirely to the world of wine. Here you can experience delicious Mediterranean meals accompanied with an authentic wine collection. They offer a diverse menu of Catalan wines and cavas, ranging from local Spanish grapes to the best international wines. They also provide a sales service in which they can advise you in finding the perfect flavour for every occasion.

Mallorca 248-250, 08008 Tel. 93 492 9292 Mon-Sat 1pm-3.30pm and 8pm-11pm, Sun 1pm-3.30pm

Mallorca 202, 08008 Tel. 93 461 4853 Mon-Sat 12pm-5pm and 7pm-11.30pm

MALPASO4EIXAMPLE This restaurant offers traditional Mexican cuisine. For starters, don’t miss the excellent house nachos, served with cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream, or Vuelve la Vida, a seafood ceviche with avocado, tomato and lime. Other dishes include the Arrachera, a grilled US prime hanger steak served with baked vegetables, as well as the Atún Moctezuma, a pan-seared tuna battered in Mexican spices, served with pico de gallo, avocado and mint sauce. Mexican brunch is also available at the weekend. Girona 59, 08009 Tel. 93 461 3060 Mon-Thurs 8am-12am Fri-Sat 8am-3pm, Sun 9.30am-12am

CHICKEN SHOP & DIRTY BURGER4 BARRI GÒTIC Roast chicken and burgers – is there anything more appealing? This recently opened restaurant serves both! Their chicken from the Empordà region is marinated and cooked over coals by Chef Iñaki Moreno. They have some amazing Burgers on the Menu, with vegan and gluten free options too. Don’t forget to try their craft beers and cocktails! DJ sessions every Friday and Saturday from 8pm onwards.

Duc de Medinacelli 2, 08002 Tel. 93 220 47009 Mon-Fri 1pm-12am and Sat 12pm-12am Sun 12pm-11am

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Mary D. McCarthy - DOCTOR

Doctor for Adults


Feel confident with Dr. Mary McCarthy, an American-trained doctor for adults. A native English speaker with over 20 years’ experience in Barcelona, Dr. McCarthy offers professional, private health care. She is a member of the American College of Physicians and International Association for Medical Assistance for Travellers, and is also certified as a Specialist by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

To advertise in this section call: 93 451 4486 or email: See our online directory at

Mary D. McCarthy, M.D. Fellow American College of Physicians

Aribau 215 Pral. 1a T. 93 200 2924 M. 607 220 040

Dr. J. E Batista - UROLOGIST


Dr. Jose E Batista is a specialist in Urology who trained in the UK and the USA. Together with his team (Uroclinica Barcelona), he covers all the fields of Urology, with special interest in prostatic diseases, laser surgery, enuresis (bed wetting) and urinary incontinence. The team has worked at Centro Médico Teknon since 1996 and also offer specialists in pediatric urology, as well as English speaking physiotherapists for pelvic floor disorders.

The Javier Bassas Dermatology Centre is a well-renowned dermatology and surgical centre equipped with the latest technology. The medical team, led by Dr. Javier Bassas Bresca, consists of surgical dermatology and venereology specialists with vast clinical and surgical experience. Their goal is to provide specialised, rigorous, efficient and accessible care, with the highest quality and ethical standards. Diagnosing and treating skin diseases is their priority, as well as offering the latest advances in dermoaesthetics.

Vilana 12, Office 24, Consult. Marquesa, C M Teknon T. 93 390 6940 Valencia 247, Barcelona Central Office T. 93 390 671

Consulta Balmes 24 1º1 T. 93 412 6602. Teknon, Marquesa de Vilallonga nº 12. Consulta nº 34 1ª 08017 T. 93 290 6434

Dr. Steven Joseph - DOCTOR An English doctor in Barcelona, Dr Steven Joseph is a member of The Royal College of General Practitioners and The Royal College of Psychiatrists. He offers a wide range of medical care, including family medicine, sexual health, mental health and access to all specialists and tests. Physiotherapy and chiropractic services are also available. Googol Medical Center provides comprehensive healthcare in a relaxed, friendly and discreet environment. Dr Joseph is happy to take your enquiries directly. Gran Via Carles III 37-39, 08028 M. 662 291 191

ServiDigest - HEALTH ServiDigest have more than 40 years’ experience working in the health industry and are pioneers in colorectal cancer prevention. Nowadays, colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers and prevention is the best treatment. Detecting symptoms at earlier stages is the key to a good outcome. However, if it is discovered at an advanced stage, it has a five-year survival rate. They have two important digestive screening programmes: the Colorectal Prevention Programme and the Digestive Cancer Prevention Programme. ServiDigest. Thinking of people. Fostering prevention. Medical and Surgical Center ServiDigest

Balmes 334, 08006 T. 93 415 3464 / 93 545 0990 Mon-Fri 9am-2pm and 4pm-9pm Sat 9am-2pm, Sun closed

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Narayn Yadave AYURVEDIC DOCTOR Dr. Narayn is an expert in digestion disorders, diet and nutrition at Ayurveda Barcelona, an Ayurvedic Health Centre located in the “Les Corts” district behind L’Illa Diagonal. The centre provides Ayurvedic consultancy, Ayurvedic treatments and massages, detox programmes and ongoing training in Ayurveda.

L’Aviacio 11, 08029 T. 93 494 29 28 / M. 639 325 756 Open Mon-Sat 10am-8.30pm

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Orthoestetic - DENTIST

Dr. Boj and his team offer specialised, comprehensive dental and orthodontic treatment for children and teens. Laser dentistry and invisible orthodontics are provided. Dr. Boj lectures on dentistry related to these age groups. He studied at the School of Medicine and Dentistry of the University of Rochester, NY, USA. This is a fast and friendly service in an English-speaking, international environment.

The Orthoestetic Clinic is located in the heart of Barcelona near the Sagrada Familia. They have modern clinical facilities and equipment, which together with their extensive experience, allows them to offer an integral quality dentistry, designed to seek the satisfaction of the patients. Dr. Holguin is a specialist in dental aesthetics, and orthopedics and orthodontics for children and adults. She is certified by the Invisalign system.

Prats de Mollo 10, Bajos B, 08021 T. 93 209 3994

Diagonal 341, loc 1. 08037 T. 93 512 4749 M. 638 545 555

Platinum Provider

Dr. Alistair Gallagher -

Goldie Uttamchandani -



The British Dental Clinic has a patient-friendly philosophy that combines aesthetics, youthful appearances, and a commitment to total oral health. Conveniently located in Barcelona, they offer orthodontics including Fast Braces and Inman Aligner, implants, cosmetic dentistry, whitening and general family dentistry. Their talented, conscientious and friendly staff will help ensure that you comfortably receive the healthy and beautiful smile that you deserve. Diagonal 281 T. 93 265 8070 M. 607 332 335

Goldie is a bilingual ICF Certified Youth & Family Coach. It is her belief that in your teen years, you can truly unlock your highest potential as a human being. She is focused on accompanying this age group on navigating through this challenging and exciting journey to help them attain their goals. Try a complimentary first session and begin your journey on connecting with your true greatness.


M. 669 788 508 Skype: goldieuttam

Hestía - PSYCHOTHERAPY Hestía International Psychotherapy Centre has become a reference in the city, due to its high quality multidisciplinary and multilingual profile. Their professional team works with individuals, couples and families through a variety of services and approaches to therapy and personal development. They speak English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Greek, Polish, Swedish, Russian and Catalan. The first consultation is free.

Diagonal 343, 2º 3ª T. 93 459 2802

Eugenia Espinosa - ENGLISH

Dra. Susana Campi - DENTIST

SPEAKING PSYCHOLOGIST Eugenia is a licensed psycologist (col. 18602) and therapist for individuals, couples and families, who specialises in issues related to migration. Trained in Mexico, New York and Barcelona, she has a wealth of experience in treating individuals dealing with the complexities and stress of building a new life in a foreign country. She also offers comprehensive treatment for people going through depression, divorce or any other life-altering event.

New premises, new services and new state of the art equipment! For all your dental needs, their team of first-class professionals offer excellent treatment. They have over 35 years’ experience and provide services in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Catalan.

NEW ADDRESS Josep Tarradellas 97 local, 08029 Bus: 15,27,32,43,54,59,66,78 T. 93 321 4005

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Santa Perpetua M. 677 090 479

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Barcelona Quiropractic - CHIROPRACTOR

Canvis offers an international environment, where you can be assisted in English, German, Dutch, Italian, French, Spanish & Catalan. They provide psychological assessment and treatment to families, adults, adolescents and children. Their committed team can help you through difficult periods and guide you to emotional well-being. Free introduction session.

Barcelona Quiropractic and its professional team have been serving the Barcelona community since 1995. They value quality service, efficiency and dedication, delivering the best results in the shortest time possible. The team provides a professional, yet friendly and family-oriented environment, catering to a wide range of patients. They aim to promote the integration of chiropractic into your lifestyle, to maintain health and wellbeing. Contact them for more information. Pl. Urquinaona 7, 08010 T. 93 412 3433 M. 601 059 849

M. 616 099 328 / 654 389 074 T. 93 487 46 66

Yoga con Gracia - YOGA An enchanting neighbourhood studio and community space with two locations in the heart of Gràcia. Founded in 2004, you will find a friendly, international vibe in the gorgeous loft-style studios. YcG has something for everyone, from Hatha, Sivananda, Kundalini, Jivamukti (a fast-paced Vinyasa) to English, pre-natal and Mum and Baby yoga classes.



Bikram Yoga - HOT YOGA Bikram Yoga has two centres in Barcelona with over 50 classes a week and options for children. Providing the ideal solution for back pain, stress, weight loss and other problems, their international team brings over 18 years’ experience. Reader offer: €25 for 10 days of unlimited yoga. Pau Claris 97, Pral, 08009, T. 93 302 5130 Caravel•la la Niña 18, 08017, T. 93 205 0281

Janeth Solá - MASSAGE Janeth Solá Ayurveda Massage Therapies Centre offers treatment for back and joint pain, stress, fatigue, insomnia and Vata related disorders. This centre, located in the Sants district, is the ideal place for those looking to improve their physical health and state of mind, practise relaxation and receive nutritional advice and dietary coaching from an Ayurveda viewpoint. Galileo 82. Sants. M. 655 560 162 Craniosacral Institute - OSTEOPATHY The institute provides services in Craniosacral Osteopathy, SomatoEmotional Release, and Massage Rebalancing, working holistically. The Institute delivers over 22 years’ experience of individual sessions to adults, children and babies. M. 689 786 519 / 639 775 218

Benedicte Taillard - HYPNOSIS, COACHING, REFLEXOLOGY, MASSAGE Benedicte provides you with the tools for, and helps you make the changes you need to enjoy a healthy, purposeful and fulfilling life on a daily basis. She guides you through accomplishing your aspirations, and becoming your best self-help. M. 654 538 506

Jonathan Hooker - PSYCHOTHERAPIST Jonathan specialises in helping people to deal with change. This may be aspects of their life they would like to change or unexpected changes that they are dealing with. An English-speaking psychotherapist, counsellor, coach and guide, he helps people to improve their relationships and make sense of their lives. M. 639 579 646


Emma Axelsson - THERAPIST & COACH

Symmetry Pilates - PILATES

Emma is a certified therapist who helps you handle life’s ups and downs, specialising in self-esteem and anxiety-related issues. The first introductory session is free of charge. She also provides group therapy for self-esteem. Visit her website for more information

Premium Pilates - NOT ‘get in, get knackered, get out!’ Most of the day we are sitting down at our computers, or in our cars. But, have you ever asked yourself whether you are sitting properly? Most back pain starts from the way we sit and from sitting for too long. Learn to sit correctly and your quality of life will improve. Unlike other forms of exercise, Pilates is targeted at those parts of the body where either correction – too long huddled over a computer for example – or strength is needed, as well as building up a strong core. People who do Pilates know it’s all about quality not quantity, so the benefit is felt after only a few sessions. So, sign up at this trendy new city-centre studio (yoga & physio also available) and enjoy a complimentary massage.

Enric Granados 111 (entlo 2º) T. 93 531 3620 M. 637 693 073

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República Argentina 19, 08023 M. 685 837 223

Pharmacy Serra Mandri - CHEMIST The pharmacy is open 365 days a year and offers a home delivery service. The staff can help and advise each client to ensure they get exactly what they need. They also stock a great range of products, including homeopathy, natural medicine, aromatherapy and organic cosmetics. Av. Diagonal 478 T. 93 416 1270 9am-10pm

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Oliver Dawson CHIROPRACTOR Oliver Dawson is a chiropractor who focuses on the direct relationship between spinal structures and health. Through specific spinal realignment and structural correction, better neurological connections are established throughout the nervous system. The result is less pain, more vitality and better health. Every Thursday from 8-9pm, Oliver offers free health activation workshops about the benefits of chiropractic and the key principles.To attend the workshop, please confirm by email and quote ‘Metropolitan’.

Georgina Weinstein VOICE COACH Georgina offers “Tone of Voice Coaching” to speakers, teachers, executives, singers, coaches, and anyone who wants to improve their abilities to communicate clearly.This includes techniques to achieve more volume, pitch, stage presence and confidence while practicing texts, songs and/or subjects that interest the student. Her combination of skills and experience help clients boost their confidence while preparing a repertoire, a presentation, or improving their diction. Classes are available in Spanish and English.

Sombrerers 27, Principal T. 93 268 3070 M. 622 772 623


M. 626 255 792


The Vital Touch - MASSAGE The Vital Touch help people to focus better and feel re-energised. They come to you and set up their ergonomic chairs, which you can relax into comfortably and fully-clothed for an effective energising massage. You emerge 20 minutes later with increased vitality and all tensions released.

Located in Gràcia, this friendly and welcoming salon has everything you need to feel special. They work together with clients to create a look that reflects their individual style and personality. They are experts in curly hair, hair colouring and above all the use of progressive vegetable hair dye, which harnesses the purity of water. They can also advise you on the cut that best suits you.

Benefits of the massage include: de-stressing, relaxation, revitalisation, tension release, detoxification, immunity boost and improvement in posture. Contact Nunu by phone or email for more information. M. 659 995 657


Torrent de L’Olla 85 (Metro Joanic) T. 93 217 9316 Tues-Thurs 10.30am-8.30pm Fri-Sat 9.30am-8.30pm

Heaven - MASSAGE Ready to feel fantastic for spring? Time to say ‘Adiós’ to muscular tension and stress? Interested in organic, 100% fresh, products based on Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and European herbal ‘pharmacy’? Let American-trained massage therapist Carrie Lewis draw on 15 years of experience and training to soothe you with deep therapeutic massage in conveniently located studios or in your home!


M. 639 533 523

The Pink Peony BEAUTY SALON The PEONY de SY facial is a complex recovery treatment for mature skin that combines organic Dr. Hauschka products, non-abrasive ultrasonic exfoliation, detoxifying lymphatic stimulation and collagen-regenerating LED Light therapy.

FOR THE BEST ENGLISH-SPEAKING HEALTH & BEAUTY PROFESSIONALS IN BARCELONA, SEE OUR ONLINE DIRECTORY Doctors - Dentists - Psychologists Chiropractors - Therapists Yoga - Pilates Reflexology - Massage Fitness - Hair salons

The result is a luminous, visibly repaired complexion and an ongoing stimulation of collagen production. Quote Metropolitan for a free eyebrow and upper lip threading worth €35. Passeig de Gracia 100, Pral. 2ª Mandri 62 T. 93 487 8464 Whatsapp: 648 248 744

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Barcelona Accounting BuSINeSS SeRvICe Need help with your small business finances? Barcelona Accounting can create an efficient financial system for a start-up or existing business, convert you to a modern cloud accounting solution, organise and/or update your bookkeeping, manage your compliance and run financial analysis to help grow your business.


To advertise in this section call: 93 451 4486 or email: See our online directory at



M. 670 405 727


Spain Accounting-



Albert forment offers legal services to the Barcelona community in english, German and french. He specialises in civil, criminal and tax law, but extends his practice to other areas, such as family, administrative, employment, and real estate. Drawing from a wealth of experience, forment ensures reliability and clarity for clients, and holds sincerity and honesty at the core of his services. Contact him today for a free introductory in-house consultation.

Qualified UK accountant with 30 years experience in Spain offers: • tax services for freelance “autónomos” and small SLs • income tax returns for employees and non-residents • practical advice on setting up a business in Spain • registration of “autónomos” and company incorporation (SL) • personalised advice on your tax obligations in Spain • fast, reliable email service

M. 616 614 764 T. 93 321 11 55

Contact David Cook on M. 678 702 369


Sánchez Molina LeGAL PRACTICe

This firm specialises in attending to the legal needs of international clients in Spain. It understands that starting a business in a foreign country can be daunting, especially in Spain, where the system is complicated and taxes can be a hindrance. This is where their experience in advising international clients how to set up businesses in Spain can help you make smarter decisions, saving you thousands of euros in the long term.

The lawyers at Sánchez molina speak english, Spanish, Italian and french. They can help with your business licensing services, legal defence and representation, registration under any form of ownership, accounting services and work and residency permits.

They have a multilingual team of lawyers with international backgrounds, specialising in different areas of legal practice including: Real estate, Business Set up, Spanish Residency, family Law, Litigation, Tax Planning. Valencia 281, 2-2 T. 93 176 0190

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Gran Via Carles III, 84, 5 T. 93 490 9669

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NIE Barcelona

Corsa International -



NIe Barcelona is a service that helps foreigners resolve all the paperwork needed for living and working in Barcelona. Their main focus is on helping to secure the NIe for eu and NON-eu citizens in a fast and efficient way. They can also help with other administrative procedures, such as social security numbers, empadronamiento, autónomo set up, and change of driving license.

Corsa driving school in Barcelona offers both theoretical classes and practical driving lessons in english. Their friendly and experienced instructors will give you the confidence to drive comfortably in the city and help you learn about Spanish road systems. They have both manual and automatic practice vehicles. Call now and ask about special metropolitan reader offers!

Beethoven 16, Bajos, 08021 T. 93 200 3324 M. 603 209 403

Master Cerrajeros

PWN Barcelona - NON PROfIT



PWN Barcelona is part of a global movement working towards gender balanced leadership through professional development and a range of networking options: in-person, online, cross-industry, and international. They offer mentoring programmes and an EU Business School certified virtual programme for entrepreneurs. Regular events include 2nd Tuesday Networking Drinks and professional development workshops. “Let’s advance how men and women work together”.

Locked out? Master Cerrajeros are english-speaking specialists who provide emergency lock replacement services at competitive rates, 24/7. They work with locks for metal shutters, automatic systems, safety doors, security systems, fences and balconies, access control and more.

M. 607 886 622


Barcelona Women’s Network - NONPROfIT

Photography for corporate events and portraits. Yan creates meaningful photography based on his ability to see beyond the obvious. His engaging photos capture key moments in a discrete way. Based in Barcelona. Working worldwide.

• Barcelona’s premier network for international women. • Approx. 200 members from 20+ countries. • As a social club that supports local organisation, activities include social gatherings, cultural outings, volunteer opportunities, and networking & promotional opportunities. We help women thrive in Barcelona.

• Back-up kit. • Next day delivery. • Guaranteed results under low lighting. • Reliable. Responsible. On time.

Supported charities 2016 - 2018

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M. 635 296 600

Handyman - HOme SeRvICeS

Geo Mac - COmPuTeRS

mark offers honest, transparent, efficient, English/Spanish/Swedish speaking handyman services. He can help you hang a mirror, paint a room, install reverse osmosis, hang blinds or curtains, do home repairs, assemble Ikea furniture and he can even fix up your place, assiting the process of retrieving your “fianza” from your landlord. Hourly rates. Real time updates.

George Cowdery is a freelance mac technician who has been providing valuable support to the mac community in Barcelona for over 15 years. Among the services he offers, George can help clients with maintenance and upgrades, hard drive replacement and ADSL setup. He can also provide consulting and tutorials according to his clients’ needs.

M. 645 691 475 Facebook handymanbarcelona74

M. 606 308 932

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BCN Seguros - INSuRANCe This local Barcelona insurance agency provides complete personal and business insurance services (home, car, health, commercial, public liability, life, motor, yacht, travel, etc.). They offer a 30% cost-saving guarantee by keeping insurance coverage identical. Advice is available in Spanish, english and German.

M. 636 465 010

Coccinelle - PRIvATe STAff

Yacht Point Barcelona - SAILING SCHOOL

ReCRuITmeNT Coccinelle specialises in providing highly-skilled, experienced domestic staff in Barcelona and surrounding areas. Their expertise and rigorous selection method ensures they are able to provide seasoned professionals for both permanent and temporary positions, where over 700 families have trusted in their services. Call them today and quote ‘metropolitan’ for a free consultation. Pau Claris 151 T. 93 010 9758

Yacht Point RYA Training Centre is a leading provider of online navigation theory courses & sailing tuition in Barcelona. They offer: - Online navigation theory courses & Sailing tuition. - Obtain your Competent Crew, Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster with us! - Courses for beginners to advanced sailors. - Day Charter trips for private groups. Their courses are suitable for complete beginners to advanced sailors. ‘We want to share our passion with you, we are more than a Sailing School!’

T. 93 004 5707


#mrsqdesignstudio Patricia Ayodeji - LAWYeR

Mrs.Q Design Studio - GRAPHIC DeSIGN

A native english-speaking lawyer, Patricia also offers her services in english, Spanish and Catalan. She is dual-qualified in Civil Law and Common Law, and is registered with many different embassies and governmental departments, as well as being a member of the Law Society of england & Wales and the Barcelona Bar Association. Her 16 years’ experience have allowed Patricia to work in many different areas of law. These include international services, company law, internet law, data protection,privacy, e-commerce, new technology, intellectual property, trademarks, litigation, and acquisition and disposal of residential property. Contact Patricia by email to make an appointment.

mrs.Q Design Studio offers a range of specialised design services. Their small business package includes branding, stationery design and advertising for print and web. They also design promotional material such as flyers, posters and brochures. mrs. Q designs bespoke invitations for weddings and special occasions. Their designs are inspired by watercolour paintings merged with contemporary design. If you would like a custom painting, designed especially for you, they can create a design that you’re sure to love. visit their etsy shop to view her work

Central Barcelona

77-80 Business DEC 17.indd 45 Instagram #mrsqdesignstudio

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Language Surfing - LANGuAGe

Barcelona is your classroom and its streets are your books.


Language Surfing is a revolutionary learning approach where students practice in real life situations and accelerate their learning by having lessons in real bars, parks & museums. Our teachers are native and professional, who love to explore the city with you, so you can take in the culture and practice in a fun and exciting environment. It’s the end of boring lessons!

Entença 34 enslo 1, 08015 Metro Rocafort M. 663 563 720

Fun Talk - LANGuAGe The Spanish courses at funTalk offer an innovative and interactive approach to learning, emphasising communication and speaking. They believe in a student-centred classroom and are committed to making the learning experience motivating, memorable and, above all, fun. With the option of using the FunTalk Kitchen, students can integrate cooking activities, or even have conversation classes with a cup of coffee or glass of wine. Live it. Learn it. Love it.


Aragó 119 T. 93 782 3821

BCN L.I.P. - LANGuAGe SCHOOL BCN LIP language school is a small school located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter offering a wide variety of dynamic classes for those wishing to learn Spanish, Catalan, english, french, German, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Hebrew. The courses are intensive and extensive, varying from four - 30 hours a week, Monday to Saturday. The teachers are qualified native speakers, with several years of experience. They also offer specialised summer programmes, excursions and cultural activities for the students. They can also help you with your student visa and finding a place to live.

Avinyó 50, 08002 T. 93 318 6591

CiberVirreina - COmPuTeR SeRvICe Open until 11pm every day of the week, they can repair your computer in 24/48 hours using well-tested procedures. Repairing software and hardware failures, saving your personal files and returning your computer fully operative. In addition to having internet access they do printing, copying and binding jobs. D'Astúries 78 (Plaça de la Virreina, Gràcia). T. 93 368 5770

BritSat - SATeLLITe Tv Missing out on British TV? Not to worry. With their latest equipment, extensive experience and fantastic after-sales service, they provide all UK and European TV via satellite and Internet installations. So don’t miss out on all the summer sporting action, phone or email Britsat for a competitive quote and expert advice. M. 649 605 917

Ibex - INSuRANCe SeRvICeS Ibex have been in operation since 2000 and have grown to be one of the largest insurance providers for the expatriate community in Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. They can insure your car, motorbike, home, pet, health, holiday home, boat, travel, business and provide funeral plans and more. T. 900 102 527

Oak House - SCHOOL Founded in 1968, pupils at Oak House are taught according to the UK national curriculum in early years and primary education. Secondary pupils follow a multilingual programme, with a firm emphasis on English. Oak House offers IGCSE qualifications to help prepare students for university courses in English. The school also offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in english, as well as the National Bachillerato programme. The school’s modern installations are conducive to an active learning style. Their motto is ‘building futures’.

Connecta Languages - TRANSLATORS Professional translation and proofreading services based in Barcelona. Performed by qualified linguists, at affordable rates and with quick turnaround. Contact them today and say goodbye to language barriers. M. 691 543 312 Skype: mlopez_connecta

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Sant Pere Claver 12-18, 08017 T. 93 252 40 20

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DIRECTORY To advertise in this section call: 93 451 4486 or email: We also have a new job section on our fREE ClassIfIEDs


SAM SAYS... IDENTIFY YOUR TRIGGERS Dear Sam, The holidays are nearly here and I’m already anticipating the stress. My girlfriend’s parents are flying to Barcelona to meet me for the first time over Christmas and then we’re both visiting my family in France. I’m already a highly strung person and the thought of having to make a positive first impression while also entertaining and making sure my girlfriend has a memorable holiday season is making me extremely anxious. Instead of getting prepared, all I want to do is crawl into a hole. Do you have tips for how to get through the holidays and reduce stress? Thanks so much, Stressaholic

Hi Stressaholic, It never ceases to amaze me that what is supposed to be one of the happiest times of year is often the thing people want to escape from; it’s not just you. I agree that meeting the parents is stressful and it sounds like you’re someone who puts pressure on themself in order to ensure the enjoyment of others. I came across a great book recently—Stress Proof by Mithu Storoni—which gives science-based strategies for overcoming stress, including seven paths to fighting the effects of stress in order to strengthen one’s natural defenses so we can handle whatever is thrown at us. Before I delve into the tips, however, I want you to consider a few things: What exactly is making you feel stressed? Stress, in and of itself can be a good thing. The problem arises when it takes over and paralyses us. Identifying the triggers can assist us to properly deal with the issues. Once you have pinpointed exactly what is stressing you out, the next question is: What would make this situation easier? Jot down a list of things that might help alleviate the stress. Here are a few practical, science-based tips from Storoni’s book that may also help: 1. Play a game The next time you’re stressed or angry, instead of reacting on the spot, do something physical, keep your hands busy and play a game. Storoni says to ‘immerse yourself in a spatial puzzle, such as Tetris, or a working-memory game. Play until you lose yourself in the game and are able to transiently forget what just happened’. 2. Tune up your body clock Every department and sub-department inside us works in time to a clock, according to Storoni. When chronic stress disrupts our clocks, our brains are especially vulnerable to damage from disordered biorhythms. If we can keep our clocks ‘precisely tuned with specific dietary, lifestyle and behavioural modifications, it will help offset the chaos inflicted by stress’. 3. Boost motivation, pleasure and reward If the part of our brain that regulates behaviour and processes our sensations of reward and motivation malfunctions, our experience of pleasure can be adversely affected. Storoni suggests modifications to behaviour and lifestyle in order to help protect our reward circuitry and keep us feeling driven, upbeat and positive.

Sam Mednick is a professional life and executive coach based in Barcelona ( A Canadian native, she’s been living in the city for eight years, working with companies as well as individuals, focusing on transitions, communication, leadership training, time management and productivity, as well as emotional intelligence development. For more coaching tips, tune into her Podcast:

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robert eMMerlinG and Sandra caSteltort

Sandra caSteltort and JoSie Pont


Janelle lewiS, tanya FiGueroa, Janet Greco

Pablo ruiz aMo, euGenia Suárez MartiJn Groenendal, SalVador oliVella


82. Backpage.indd 6

Sarah Viera, GiSele GiarruSSo, eric SwanSon, cintia aurellio y Maribel Martinez

By Ben Rowdon


GiSele GiarruSSo, Jordi coneSa, carleS caSaS, Sarah Viera, eric SwanSon, María euGenia yori, cintia aurellio

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